Millington, MI – Four young girls fought off a would-be kidnapper in Michigan on Friday night.
Millington police said 22-year-old Bruce Hipkins could be seen on Speedway gas station surveillance video watching the girls as they shopped for sodas on Aug. 10, WJRT reported.
Hipkins followed the girls, ages 11 to 14, as they left the store on foot afterward, police said.
The girls noticed the strange man following them and crossed the street to get away from him. They headed for a better-lit area, but Hipkins continued to follow them until they were in front of the Dollar General store, WJRT reported.
Lauren Eickhoff, 13, said the man went after her 11-year-old sister Allison first.
“[He was] behind my sister and I screamed, ‘Allison’ and then he attacked,” Lauren told WJRT.
Allison said that at first she thought the man’s attack might be a test of the girls’ ability to take care of themselves, but then she quickly realized “this is real.”
“He said, ‘you’re coming with me’. And like, he grabbed my face,” Allison said.
Lauren, Allison and their two girlfriends did exactly what their parents had taught them to do if a stranger ever tried to take them. The Eickhoff sisters said their father had told them to fight back if their lives were ever in danger, according to WJRT.
“I grabbed my drink and chucked it at his head. I tried, I punched him in the head,” Lauren said.
She was holding a hot cup of coffee in her hand and she threw it in Hipkins’ face, WJRT reported. In his police mugshot, Hipkins has coffee stains all over his shirt.
The other girls also threw Slurpees and drinks at the man, and the Eickhoffs said their 14-year-old friend started attacking Hipkins, too, so then he went after her, police said.
“He grabbed another one by the hair after he had let the little one go, and they continued to kick and punch him and scream until they let go and ran off,” Millington Police Chief Jason Oliver said.
The girls took off running and went to the Millington Inn where somebody called 911 for them.
Officers responded and picked up Hipkins nearby within minutes, WJRT reported. He was arrested and booked into the Tuscola County Jail,
Chief Oliver said the young ladies had done exactly what they were supposed to do in such a scary situation.
“Kicked, screamed, punched, clawed. Threw their hot drinks, their Slurpees, whatever they had on them, they did what they needed to do,” the chief said.
None of the girls were seriously injured in the incident, according to WJRT.
Hipkins was charged with unlawful imprisonment, assault and battery, and two counts of criminal sexual conduct.