Chick-fil-A employee fights off Florida man trying to carjack woman, deputies say

Employee heralded for heroism; suspect facing felonies

A Chick-fil-A worker in Florida's Panhandle is being hailed a hero after jumping into action and helping to stop a carjacking.

OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. – A Florida man is behind bars after Okaloosa County deputies say he attempted to take a woman’s keys and steal her car in the parking lot of a Chick-fil-A near Fort Walton Beach on Wednesday, only to be taken down by one of the restaurant’s employees.

The victim was removing a baby from her car when 43-year-old William Branch approached her “wielding a stick and demanding her keys,” an Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Facebook post states.

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Branch took the keys from her waistband and entered her car as the woman began to scream, getting the employee’s attention, deputies said.

The employee — who deputies described as young, brave and courageous — ran to intervene, at one point being punched in the face by Branch, the post reads.

You can watch video of the altercation in the media player below.

The employee was not seriously injured, deputies said.

William Branch, 43 (Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office)

Branch was arrested on charges of burglary, battery and armed carjacking.

He had been involved in another incident shortly before the carjacking attempt, deputies said.

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About the Author:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.