The woman was removing a baby from her vehicle outside the restaurant in Fort Walton Beach when a man with a stick approached and demanded her keys, the sheriff’s office said in a news release Wednesday.
The man took the keys from the waistband of the woman’s pants, opened the car door and got inside, the statement said.
Hearing the woman scream for help, an employee rushed to intervene, deputies said.
The employee, identified by the Chick-fil-A operator as Mykel Gordon, got into a physical struggle with the suspect, who punched Gordon in the face, according to the release.
As the two brawled in the parking lot, other people came to help subdue the suspect, shows show. a video shared on Twitter by the sheriff’s office.
The sheriff’s office is crediting the clerk as a good Samaritan who prevented the suspect from fleeing. “A big salute to this young man for his bravery,” the department said in the post.
Matthew Sexton, the Chick-fil-A branch operator, told CNN he’s relieved everyone is safe.
“I am grateful for my incredible team member, Mykel Gordon, who so selflessly jumped in to step in and help our guests. I couldn’t be more proud of his incredible act of care,” said Sexton.
The suspect, a 43-year-old man, was arrested and charged with carjacking with a weapon and assault, the sheriff’s office said.