Video above courtesy Molly Kelner Garrett
FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — According to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, a woman had been taking an infant out of her car at the Chick-fil-A when the suspect, identified as 43-year-old William Branch, allegedly approached her while wielding a stick.
He then demanded her keys before grabbing them from her waistband and getting into the car.
The woman then began screaming for help. That’s when a Chick-fil-A employee intervened, authorities say.
The employee was punched in the face by Branch, according to authorities. As the video above shows, the young man appears to tackle Branch to the ground before other Chick-fil-A employees and patrons intervened.
Deputies arrived to arrest Branch, who now faces charges of carjacking with a weapon and battery.
An employee told deputies Branch had been involved in another incident shortly before the carjacking attempt.
“We’re so relieved that our Guests and Team Members are safe following this alarming incident. I’m grateful for my amazing Team Member, Mykel Gordon, who so selflessly jumped in to intervene and help our Guests. I couldn’t be prouder of his incredible act of care,” Matthew Sexton, operator of the Fort Walton Beach Chick-fil-A location said in a statement shared with Nexstar.
The sheriff’s office said deputies are reviewing the video.