Michigan girls escape kidnapping attempt by fighting back, throwing hot coffee on attacker
When kids get to a certain age, you have to let them leave the house on their own. That can be scary for parents, who see horrific stories every night on the news. The world is full of bullies, thieves and even worse, kidnappers.
When I was growing up, my parents and teachers offered the same advice: If somebody attempts an abduction, fight back, make a scene and run away. Sometimes I wondered how that situation would play out - would it really be possible to get away? Well, four brave, tough girls in Millington, Michigan did just that.
According to a statement by the Millington Police Department, a 22-year-old man, identified as Bruce Hipkins, followed four young girls home at 10pm last Friday night. The girls, who are between ages 11 and 14, noticed a strange man following them, so they stopped by a well-lit convenience store to get drinks. After they walked out, the suspect "grabbed the youngest girl around the head and told her she was coming with him."
However, Hipkins did not count on the girl's three plucky friends. "The other three girls kicked, hit, and threw their hot coffee on him," said authorities. "The suspect let the young girl go and grabbed another one of the girls by her hair. The suspect was again kicked and hit by the girls until he let her go and fled on foot."
The girls ran a block away to nearby hotel and called for help. Hipkins was apprehended by police officers minutes later. None of the girls were harmed in the incident. In an emotional interview with ABC affiliate WJRT, two of the girls, sisters Allison and Lauren Eickhoff, described the traumatic ordeal.
"He said, 'You're coming with me.' And like, he grabbed my face," said Allison, 11. "This cannot be happening; I thought it was a test at first, but then I'm like, 'This is real.'" Lauren, 13, said her first reaction was to scream. Then, remembering her father's advice, she sprang into action, and fought back: "I grabbed my drink and chucked it at his head. I tried, I punched him in the head. Seeing that your little sister was going to get taken is very scary."
Police officers charged Bruce Hipkins with unlawful imprisonment, assault and battery and two counts of criminal sexual conduct. He is being held on a $250,000 bond at the Tuscola County Jail. In his mugshot, he's wearing a white shirt, and the stains from the girls' drinks appear to be visible.
Speaking with The Washington Post, Millington Police Chief Jason Oliver praised the girls' actions: "I think they did great. They did exactly what they should have done. They fought the suspect — and they won." Allison and Lauren's father, Aaron Eickoff, agreed. He told the Post he was proud of his daughters and their friends: "How they reacted was just amazing. It was true bravery."