A brave young employee at a Florida Chick-Fil-A prevented a car-jacking Wednesday afternoon after tackling a man who had snatched car keys from a woman with a baby, police said.
The fast-food chain worker leapt into action when he heard the woman screaming out for help in the Fort Walton Beach restaurant’s parking lot, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office said.
The office said 43-year-old William Branch ran up to the woman as she was taking her infant out of her car in the parking lot on Beal Parkway.
He allegedly demanded she hand over her keys, while wielding a stick, the sheriff’s office said.
Branch, of DeFuniak Springs, allegedly stole the keys right from the waistband of the woman’s pants, opened her car door and stepped inside.
The woman yelled out and the unnamed employee ran over, according to the sheriff.
Branch allegedly punched the worker in the face, but that didn’t stop him.
Dramatic video from the scene shows the employee and Branch rolling on the pavement of the parking lot while the woman holding her baby screams for someone to help.
The Chick-fil-A worker pushed Branch to the ground and gets him in a headlock as his coworkers rush over to help hold him down, the video shot by a witness shows.
Branch can then be seen sitting on the pavement while the employee holds down on his shoulder to keep him down.
A different woman, also holding an infant, yells at Branch, according to the video.
“She had a baby in her hands, how dare you?!” she said, scolding him. “How dare you scare her like that?”
The employees detained Branch until police arrived. They said he had been involved in another, unspecified incident shortly before the carjacking attempt, according to the sheriff’s office.
The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office arrested Branch at the scene and charged him with carjacking with a weapon and battery.
The office thanked the employee for his bravery.
“A major shout-out to this young man for his courage!” it wrote on Facebook.