Video Shows Chick-fil-A Employee Fighting Off Carjacker

"I was like—I got to help somebody.”

A fast-food employee in Florida offered some real extra value to a customer this week when he saved a woman and her baby from a carjacking. When the Chick-fil-A worker in Fort Walton Beach heard there was an altercation in the parking lot, he ran over to help, ultimately earning a citation from the sheriff's office and praise on social media. Read on to find out what happened—and why this isn't the hero's first rescue.   

1
Woman With Baby Accosted in Restaurant Parking Lot

ABC3

According to a Facebook post by the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office, on Sept. 14, a woman was taking her baby out of her car in the Chick-fil-A parking lot when a man accosted her and tried to grab her keys. William Branch, 43, yelled at the woman, demanded her keys, then grabbed them from the waistband of her pants, the sheriff's office said. After he got into the car, the woman yelled for help. Keep reading to learn more and see the video.

2
Attacker in a Headlock

Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office

That was the moment when Chick-fil-A's employee Mykel Gordon ran to the car, put Branch in a headlock, and pulled him to the ground. When Gordon's colleagues came over to help, Branch escaped. But he was arrested soon afterward and charged with carjacking and battery. 

Gordon wasn't seriously injured during the melee, authorities said. He was identified in a Facebook post by the owner of the Chick-fil-A franchise. "This is the HERO!" wrote Matthew Sexton. "At Chick-fil-A, our mission is to serve and today, Mykel took it further…to save."

3
"I Got to Help Somebody"

ABC3

"I was in the middle of an order, and I hear a call from the other side of the store all the way over there," Gordon, the restaurant's speed of service director, told WEAR-TV on Thursday. "I was like—I got to help somebody. I got to help. Being a father of two children, I really hope someone would do the same thing for me."

4
Hero Honored By Sheriff; Not His First Act of Heroism

ABC3

The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office recognized Gordon for his heroism. "A major shout-out to this young man for his courage!" they said on Twitter. On Thursday, Sheriff Eric Aden met Gordon at Chick-fil-A to thank him and present him with a community service award. Aden praised Gordon's efforts to "serve and protect" and said, "If you ever are interested, we certainly have an opening for you, and we'd be honored to sponsor you as a cadet."  As it turns out, four years ago, Gordon rescued two teens who were trapped in a car when a crane fell on it—also just outside that Chick-fil-A. "Not the first time that I've ran to help," he told WEAR. "And when I hear somebody in need, I am there."

5
Social Media Reacts

ABC3

"I'm grateful for my amazing team member, Mykel Gordon, who so selflessly jumped in to intervene and help our guests," Chick-fil-A branch operator Matthew Sexton told CNN. "I couldn't be prouder of his incredible act of care."  "We, as a community, are all SO proud of you for showing such bravery, Mykel," said one Facebook user. "Thank you for jumping into action! You have made an everlasting difference today!"

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor whose health and lifestyle content has also been published on Beachbody and Openfit. A contributing writer for Eat This, Not That!, he has also been published in New York, Architectural Digest, Interview, and many others. Read more
Filed Under
 •  •