PUNTA GORDA, Fla.–A Fort Walton Chick-fil-A employee is being hailed as a hero by law enforcement and his employer for successfully foiling a carjacking attempt of a mother and her baby.

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office said an employee at the Chick-fil-A restaurant rushed to help a screaming woman holding a baby, after a man grabbed the keys from her and attempted to take her car.

According to the arrest report on Sept 14,  a 43-year-old DeFuniak Springs man was charged with carjacking with a weapon and battery. The report said the victim was removing her infant from her car at the Fort Walton Beach Chick-fil-A when she said a man wielding a stick approached her and demanded the keys to her car. He proceeded to grab the keys from the waistband of her pants, opened the car door, and got inside when she began screaming for help.

Chick-fil-A employee Mykel Gordon heard her screams and quickly intervened, tackling the man and pinning him to the ground as other employees came out to help until deputies arrived. During the altercation, Gordon was punched in the face but was not seriously injured, authorities said.

A Chick-fil-A patron captured the incident on her phone and shared it with police. It has since gone viral.

Crediting Gordon as a “good Samaritan,” the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office  praised him in a Twitter post, sending “A major shout-out to this young man for his courage.”

Matthew Sexton, operator of the Fort Walton Beach Chick-fil-A location, released a statement praising Gordon for his heroics.

“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,” he said.

Sexton told news outlets that he was “glad everyone was safe.”

Another Chick-fil-A employee told deputies that the suspect had been involved in a separate incident shortly before the carjacking attempt. Authorities would not comment further on that allegation.

The Epoch Times reached out to the corporate offices of Chick-fil-A but did not hear back from them by press time.


Jannis Falkenstern is an Epoch Times reporter who covers the state of Florida.

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