JERSEY SHORE — A man is locked up in Lycoming County accused of making some serious threats to harm himself and others.
When authorities searched the apartment where he lives they found all sorts of weapons and items to make explosive devices.
Police in Jersey Shore said there was real potential for disaster after what they found at Matthew Bachman’s apartment last night.
Bachman is in jail, charged with making terroristic threats, and people in the community feel a whole lot safer because someone did the right thing and alerted police.
Investigators said they were tipped off to the stash of guns, bullets and more by a man who said his roommate, Matthew Bachman, threatened to use Molotov cocktails to blow up a gas station along Allegheny Street.
Then, according to court papers, Bachman said he would barricade himself inside the nearby Tiadaghton Valley Mall and have a standoff with police.
“The potential for harm was there,” said Tiadaghton Valley Regional Police Captain Martin Jeirles. “This could have been a disaster.”
Bachman was arrested and charged Thursday night.
In all, police took four pistols, two rifles, a shotgun and seven large capacity magazines, not to mention incomplete homemade bombs.
The potential targets are busy places in Jersey Shore.
On any given day there are a little more than 50 children at the Tiadaghton Valley Mall, between a day care center and a Head Start center. Plus there are dozens of customers at the grocery store and other businesses. If Bachman had followed through with any plan he had, there would have been many, many people in the crossfire.
“I probably won’t sleep tonight. Thinking about someone in jersey shore over here thinking about doing such a terrible thing, thank God somebody squealed on him,” said one woman who only wanted to be identified as Mary.
Police said these kinds of attack plots can happen anywhere, not exactly a comfort to people learning of the arrest for the first time.
“We’re terrified anyway of the world our kids are growing up in, when it hits this close to home it makes you take a step back and wonder what it’s going to be like,” said Jade Oakes of Jersey Shore.
Police are still investigating and could not say if Bachman intended to make good on his threats or how close he might have been.
However, officers said body armor and tactical gear were found at the apartment and, many of the weapons appeared to have been recently purchased.