A 22-year-old Tuscola County man has been charged with kidnapping and other charges after a Friday night incident in Millington.
Bruce Hipkins also faces unlawful imprisonment, assault and battery, and two criminal sexual conduct charges.
Millington Police said he was seen on surveillance cameras inside the Speedway gas station watching the girls. He then following them as they left the store.
The four girls are ages 11 to 14.
Tuscola County Sheriff’s Office
After they left the gas station the girls noticed Hipkins following them and decided to cross the street in an effort to get away from him.
Millington Police Chief Jason Oliver said that is the first thing the girls did right as they tried to avoid Hipkins. “They decided to go across the street where the lights are, to a lit area.”
But police said Hipkins followed.
Lauren Eickhoff, 13, recounts what happened next.
“(He was) behind my sister and I screamed, ‘Allison’ and then he attacked,” Lauren Eickhoff said.
Lauren’s sister Allison is just 11-years-old.
“He said, ‘you’re coming with me’. And like, he grabbed my face,” Allison Eickhoff said.
Police said this all unfolded in front of the Dollar General, which is across the road from the Speedway where the girls had gotten their drinks.
“This can not be happening, I thought it was a test at first but them I’m like, ‘this is real’,” Allison Eickhoff said.
Lauren, Allison and their 12 and 14-year-old friends did what they had been taught.
The Eickhoff sisters said their dad told them to fight back in a situation where their lives were in danger.
“I grabbed my drink and chucked it at his head. I tried, I punched him in the head,” Lauren Eickhoff said. She had a hot coffee in her hand.
The oldest friend started attacking him too.
Police said Hipkins let go of Allison, but then targeted the 14-year-old who was hitting him.
“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,” Oliver said.
The girls ran about a block away to the Millington Inn where someone called 911.
A deputy found Hipkins a few minutes later.
Oliver said the girls were brave and did the right thing. “Kicked, screamed, punched, clawed. Threw their hot drinks, their slurpees, whatever they had on them, they did what they needed to do.”
Lauren Eickhoff said it’s one of the scariest things she’s ever seen. “Seeing that your little sister was going to get tooken is very scary.”
And while all four girls were a bit shaken up, none of them were seriously hurt.
Mr. Eickhoff was not surprised by his daughters’ response to the attack. “I always told them, ‘Go for the throat and the groin,’” he said.
Hipkins is in the Tuscola County Jail on a $250,000 bond.
Read more: ABC