Dramatic video shows a Chick-fil-A employee tackling a man who allegedly tried to carjack a woman with a baby. The suspect, identified as William Branch, was arrested by authorities in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
Branch is facing charges of battery and carjacking with a weapon, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office said on Wednesday.
Armed with a stick, Branch allegedly approached a woman in the parking lot outside of Chick-fil-A as she was getting a baby out of the car. He then demanded her keys, grabbed them from her waistband and tried to take the car, the sheriff’s office said.
The Chick-fil-A employee, identified by the restaurant as Mykel Gordon, intervened after hearing the woman screaming. Part of the video of the encounter shows Gordon wrestling Branch to the ground and pinning him until more people show up to help.
At one point, Branch punched Gordon in the face, but he was not seriously injured, the sheriff’s office said.
In the clip, a woman who witnessed the incident unfold is heard calling out the attempted carjacker.
“She had a baby in her hands,” she says. “She had a baby in her hands! How dare you!”
Deputies said Branch was involved in another incident shortly before the carjacking attempt.
The local Chick-fil-A’s Facebook page identified the quick-thinking employee and called him a “HERO.”
“This is Mykel Gordon! At Chick-fil-A our mission is to ‘Serve’ and today Mykel took it further……to ‘Save,'” the post said.
Gordon has worked at the Chick-fil-A for the last 14 years. Matthew Sexton, the restaurant’s operator, praised Gordon in a statement to CBS News on Thursday.
“We’re so relieved that our Guests and Team Members are safe following this alarming incident,” Sexton said. “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.”
Authorities also lauded the young man.
“A major shout-out to this young man for his courage!” the sheriff’s office tweeted.
The sheriff’s office wrote on its Facebook page that it expects Gordon will receive some sort of award for his actions.