A man wearing a ski mask used a stapler to hold up an eastern Kentucky ice cream store — and briefly got away with $175, authorities said.

Gerald A. Rocchi, 32, was arrested shortly after he flashed a chrome-plated stapler at an employee of The Ice Cream Shop in Ashland on Tuesday and demanded money, police said.

Ashland Police Capt. Don Petrella said he didn't know if Rocchi planned to shoot staples at the shop's employees or use it as a blunt instrument if he didn't get the cash.

It didn't come to that because the employees handed over the cash, Petrella said.

Several witnesses saw Rocchi leave the shop and told police where he was headed, Petrella said. After arresting Rocchi, police searched his house and found money, a stapler and a ski mask, Petrella said.

Petrella said the stapler's chrome finish could have made it look like a gun "if someone didn't get a good look at it."

Rocchi was charged with first-degree robbery. He made his first appearance in Boyd District Court on Wednesday morning. He did not have an attorney at the hearing.