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Branches and broomsticks: Low-tech Fort Worth robbery thwarted

FORT WORTH -- Perhaps this robber should have carried a bigger stick.

A man’s attempt to rob a Fort Worth fast food restaurant armed with a big tree branch was thwarted Thursday night when an employee engaged him in a dual with a broom, police say.

Lt. Paul Henderson, police spokesman, said the man walked into the Eddie’s Fried Chicken at 1901 Hemphill about 8:30 p.m., wearing a white rag tied around his face. The man raised the branch over his head -- in what police called “strike position” -- and demanded money from an employee.

The 56-year-old employee grabbed a broom and, according to Henderson, “the two engaged in a battle of wooden swordsmanship.” A second employee rammed the man with a chair, causing him to drop the branch and flee the store.

Witnesses followed the man to a nearby church in the 1700 block of Hemphill, where officers found him hiding behind a dumpster. The man, identified by police as 50-year-old Michael Steven Reed, was arrested on suspicion of aggravated robbery and is in the city jail awaiting transfer to the Mansfield Jail.