Top crime stories of 2016: Girlfriend crashes car into Birch Bay building to end kidnapping

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A woman intentionally rammed her car into the wall of a Shell station to escape her boyfriend who was threatening to kill her on April 20, 2016.

A clerk at the Bay Center Market in Birch Bay called 911, reporting that the woman – who appeared to have been beaten – mouthed the words: “Help me.” They drove away in a green car, said Chief Criminal Deputy Doug Chadwick of the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office.

Five minutes later, a dark green Oldsmobile crashed into the wall of a Shell station on Birch Bay-Lynden Road. According to the sheriff’s office, a woman jumped out of the driver’s seat screaming, “He’s going to kill me!”

A man, later identified as Michael Lavon Eisenman, 24, fled from the passenger seat and tried to run, but “a large group of citizens” detained him, according to the sheriff’s office.

He was booked into jail on suspicion of second-degree assault, first-degree kidnapping, and felony harassment.

The woman, 21, had injuries to her face and bruising on her body. They’d gotten into an argument, and he pulled out a knife and refused to let her leave the home in Birch Bay.

His trial is tentatively scheduled for February.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty