CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — It may not have been a weapon of choice but rather one of convenience.

Suffolk County police say a Ronkonkoma man was arrested after trying to rob a 7-Eleven store in Central Islip Thursday night using a large tree branch.

Michael Zimmerman, 31, is accused of walking into the store around 11:30 p.m. and demanding money from the clerk.

After being denied, police said Zimmerman struck the clerk several times with the branch.

Police said Zimmerman took off on his motorcycle which was parked in the lot after the clerk fought him off but didn’t get very far.

An off-duty Nassau County police officer blocked the motorcycle after he saw Zimmerman being chased by the clerk and a small group of customers

The officer held Zimmerman until Suffolk County police arrived.

Zimmerman has been charged with robbery in the first degree.

If convicted, what is the appropriate punishment in this case? Sound off below…

Comments (62)
  1. Jim Murphy says:

    I hope the clerk is promoted to branch manager.

  2. Ssofie Mesh says:

    Poor misunderstood guy. Why not build him a tree house?

  3. Kevin Stefko says:

    i’m sure the clerk was stumped

  4. Consultofactus says:

    When branches are outlawed only outlaws will have branches..

  5. NowListenUp says:

    At least America still has a well rooted sense of humor!!

  6. Bob says:


    VERY GOOD! Best comment so far!

    1. NowListenUp says:

      I think all of the comments are great….laughing my arse off..but thanks.

  7. NowListenUp says:

    Dumb idea….but not as dumb as the “executive branch” that runs this country.

  8. Bob says:

    Doesn’t anyone have the common decency to rob a store with a gun anymore????

  9. BT says:

    The economy’s so bad criminals can’t afford guns.

  10. Bo says:

    Hah, make him eat the food at the 7-11, the months old hot dogs, or better yet make him split wood for the ground beef.

  11. Brian says:

    Make him pick a switch and give him a good, old fashioned whuppin’!

  12. Stu says:

    Caneing would be appropriate

  13. Richard Lynn Moore says:

    Whats next? Someone threatening you with a dirty diaper?

  14. Durty says:




  15. Sistmich says:

    Hope they run rings around him.

  16. Americuss says:

    It’s a Bush’s fault!!!!

  17. SteveJ says:

    Someone told him to spruce up for the robbery.

  18. Jah N. Appleseed says:

    He beat that clerk to a pulp, mon!

  19. lionfour says:

    OMG the horror. We need a law to ban the possesion of tree branches!

  20. kimber says:

    He should be flogged with the tree branch

  21. charlie says:

    he looks like a methed-out christian bale.

    no pun, sorry 🙁

    1. moe's gallon-o-gin contest says:

      You should make like a tree and get the hell outta here.

  22. washdc says:

    We N\need to enforce proper branch control laws, immediately.

  23. Ben Dover says:

    You pun-meisters . . . y’all are killin’ me!

    1. Durty says:

      too funny! I got in trouble for laughing out loud @ work~!!!

      luv it~!!

    2. Brian says:

      Yeah…these comments are very entertaining. Gotta love peoples’ sense of humor. These replies people are leaving are just fun.

  24. Tony Tiger says:

    The punishment should be the same as if he used a gun. Armed robbery is armed robbery. A secondary charge should be added….”Public Stupidity.”

  25. Blasterific says:

    Guess he is going up the river without an oak paddle.

  26. Mike Jones says:

    He was just branching out and learning the robbery trade.

  27. SteveJ says:

    Why would someone use part of a tree to commit a crime? I’m stumped.

  28. SteveJ says:

    He wasn’t poplar enough in school.

  29. This is tree, son! says:

    Does this genius work for ACORN?

  30. Bob says:

    The guy sounds like a quite the sappling!

  31. Bfife says:

    It was first detree robbery.

  32. lcs says:

    I guess he was going out on a limb.

    1. Paco says:

      No…it’s a stick up.

  33. cheesehead says:

    His bark was worse than his bike!

  34. Dale says:

    OMG!! They should stick it to him!

  35. Mark says:

    Ban all Hardwood trees…

  36. kes stress says:

    Looks like a shady character to me.

  37. Richard says:

    If convicted, what is the appropriate punishment in this case? Have his limbs cut off!

  38. Ken Tyler says:

    He was asked to leaf the store.

  39. joe says:

    If only there where tougher tree branch possession laws. I wanna know where he bought that tree branch and why didn’t they do a proper background check.

    1. Ken Tyler says:

      Better ban all trees!! That would be the Liberal answer.

  40. cc says:

    what kind of tree?

  41. Longe says:

    A severe caning sounds in order.

  42. HannMo says:

    What an idiot, he should have been robbing a BRANCH BANK!

  43. Igloo Boo says:

    He was just trying to do his branch banking … getting back to his roots.

  44. John Cowan says:

    Meth is a hell of a drug.

  45. Bob says:

    Neuter him for starters.

  46. Joe Blow says:

    Leave him alone? You’ve got to be barking up the wrong tree. Stem this story and branch out to other topics and blossom out to a new day, Oak-kay?

    1. heartpursuer says:

      Almost there. How about “leaf him alone”? And really, what kind of a sap commits this sort of crime? Okay, I’ll bud out now.

  47. bday55 says:

    you know times are bad when you gotta rob someone with a tree branch.

    1. EvilBuddyP says:

      Nuts! We need to get to the root of this tree crime problem and nip it in the bud. NIP IT, before this blight branhes out into the non criIminal orchard

    2. Flowbee Jim says:

      Death by hanging.

    3. mateo says:

      this is a “stick” up lolol

  48. Rob says:

    what a jack ass, beat him with the branch he rode in on

  49. thor's hammer says:

    somewhere a village isn’t missing its idiot.

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