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William Branch

A young employee outside a Fort Walton Beach area restaurant rushed to help a screaming woman holding a baby this afternoon after a man grabbed her keys and tried to take her car.

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office has charged 43-year old William Branch of DeFuniak Springs with carjacking with a weapon and battery.

The victim was getting the infant out of her car at a restaurant at 743 Beal Parkway when she says Branch approached her wielding a stick and demanding her keys.

He then grabbed the keys from the waistband of her pants, opened her car door, and got inside.

When the victim began screaming for help an employee at Chick-fil-A ran to intervene. Branch punched the young man in the face but the second victim was not seriously injured.

The employee says Branch had been involved in another incident shortly before the carjacking attempt.

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