A fast-food employee is being celebrated for a selfless act that was partially caught on video.
During the afternoon of Sept. 14, in the Fort Walton Beach, Florida area, a Chick-fil-A employee named Mykel Gordon helped thwart an attempted carjacking involving a woman and a baby.
According to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office (OSCO), the unnamed victim was taking the baby out of her car outside the fast-food restaurant when she said a man approached her "wielding a stick and demanding her keys."
The woman said the man then grabbed her keys off of her pants' waistband, opened her car door and got inside, leaving her screaming for help.
Hearing the woman, Gordon sprang into action, wrestling the alleged carjacker to the ground. Part of the struggle was caught on camera by a witness named Molly Kelner, according to a Facebook post by the OSCO. Onlookers shouted as the altercation unfolded.
“She had a baby in her hands. How dare you!” says an unnamed woman in the video. “How dare you scare her like that!”
Police said that the suspect punched Gordon in the face but the second victim was not seriously injured. After wrestling the man to the ground, Gordon held him in place as other people on the scene approached to help until police arrived.
On Wednesday, the OSCO charged 43-year old William Branch of DeFuniak Springs with carjacking with a weapon and battery.
A news release stated that Gordon also told deputies that the man had been involved in another incident at the restaurant earlier that day. Minutes before the incident that was caught on video, the man was seen reaching into another woman’s vehicle and unlocking the driver’s door before entering the vehicle, according to a second Facebook post by the OSCO.
The Chick-fil-A of Fort Walton Beach identified Gordon as the hero in the video, commending him in a Facebook post that has been liked thousands of times and has hundreds of comments from people who lauded the employee for his actions.
“This is the HERO! This is Mykel Gordon!” reads the post. “At Chick-fil-A our mission is to ‘Serve’ and today Mykel took it further……to ‘Save’.”
The following day, on Sept. 15, Okaloosa County Sheriff Eric Aden and other members of the OCSO met with Gordon in the parking lot where the incident occurred to personally thank him for his actions, giving him a special coin and a community service award.
"He’s what we would call a humble hero,” reads the caption on a video of the ceremony.
“What we say a lot of times is that service in our DNA, that’s our mantra, that’s our motto,” says Okaloosa County Sheriff Eric Arden in the video. “You clearly have service in your DNA from the job that you do here but you know you served and protected yesterday.”
Arden later says he was glad Gordon was there to intervene as an employee of the fast-food chain, but tells Gordon to give him a call if he’s ever interested in joining the police force: "We may have an opening for you."