A 22-year-old man reportedly attacked a group of young girls, ages 11 to 14, and they took matters into their own hands — possibly saving their own lives.
What are the details?
The incident occurred Friday night in Millington, Michigan, when Bruce Hipkins reportedly decided to follow four young girls who were in a Speedway gas station.
WJRT-TV reported that Hipkins — who was also inside the gas station — watched the girls while they were inside the store, buying beverages. Hipkins reportedly followed the group on foot when they left the store.
The girls reportedly noticed that Hipkins was following them, so they crossed the street to a better lit area in order to avoid the lurking man. Hipkins, the girls said, followed them anyway.
Lauren Eickhoff, 13, and one of the victims, told the station that Hipkins came right up behind her 11-year-old sister, Allison. Lauren noticed this, and shouted out a warning to her sister.
"[He was] behind my sister and I screamed, 'Allison!' and then he attacked," Lauren said.
Allison said that Hipkins came up behind her and began to attack. "[Hipkins] said 'You're coming with me,' and like, he grabbed my face," she said.
Allison, in complete disbelief, said that she initially thought that Hipkins' attack was some kind of test to see how young, vulnerable girls would react.
"This cannot be happening," Allison said. "I thought it was a test at first, but [then] I'm like, 'This is real.'"
What happened next?
All four girls — the others age 12 and 14 — went into survival mode and honored the advice that they'd received over the years about fighting back when their lives were in danger. Lauren told the station that she lobbed a hot coffee at Hipkins' head.
"I grabbed my drink and chucked it at his head. I tried, I punched him in the head," she admitted.
The station reported that the eldest girl also started attacking Hipkins in an attempt to subdue him, and he reportedly turned and grabbed the 14-year-old girl by the hair.
Millington Police Chief Jason Oliver said that the girls did the right thing in trying to avoid Hipkins by crossing the street. He noted that during the altercation, Hipkins also reportedly "grabbed another [girl] 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 that the girls absolutely did the right thing in fighting back.
"[They] kicked, screamed, punched, clawed," he said. "Threw their hot drinks, their slurpees, whatever they had on them; they did what they needed to do."
The fled to a nearby hotel where someone called 911. A deputy picked Hipkins up almost immediately afterward.
Were the girls hurt?
The station reported that none of the girls were seriously hurt in the alleged attack.
Hipkins was charged with kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, assault and battery, and two criminal sexual conduct charges. He is being held in the Tuscola County Jail on a $250,000 bond.
Lauren said that the attack is one of the most frightening events that she's ever witnessed.
"Seeing that your little sister was going to get tooken [sic] is very scary," Lauren said.