Man accused of terror threat waives hearing
JERSEY SHORE – All that John Thompson really wanted to do was make sure his troubled roommate, Matthew Wayne Bachman, got the help Thompson believed he so desperately needed.
“Going to the police station was the hardest thing I ever did,” the 24-year-old Thompson said Wednesday in an interview.
“Things certainly got pretty scary,” Thompson said as he reflected on the recent events that took place inside the apartment he and Bachman shared and that culminated with Bachman getting arrested last week on charges of allegedly threatening to “blow up” a gas station in the borough.
“It really got to the point that I felt I couldn’t handle the situation under my roof,” Thompson said.
Thompson, who has known Bachman, 24, since they were freshmen at the Jersey Shore Senior High School, allowed Bachman to move into his apartment at 1108 Allegheny St. earlier this month because he did not have any other place to stay.
However, as the days passed, Bachman’s mood became more depressed and angry, Thompson said. The Tiadaghton Valley Regional Police said a woman recently had filed a protection from abuse order against him.
“I really didn’t want this situation to end up on the front page and in the news. I just wanted my buddy to get the help that he needed and that he clearly was not receiving,” Thompson said.
Bachman allegedly talked repeatedly with his roommate about “a plan” to cause a terroristic act in the borough that involved tossing Molotov cocktails at the pumps at the Minit Mart on Allegheny Street, Thompson and police said.
Bachman also spoke about barricading himself inside the nearby Tiadaghton Mall with an arsenal of guns.
“It seems to me that he is in a really dark place,” Thompson said in describing Bachman’s frame of mind.
“It put me in a real sticky situation,” Thompson said, referring to the tension he was experiencing.
What prompted him to go to the police station last Thursday was Bachman bringing into the apartment two bags of glass bottles the previous night.
After obtaining a search warrant, officers seized a few long rifles, handguns, ammunition and materials that could be used to make a bomb, police said.
Bachman was arrested that night on charges of threatening to use weapons of mass destruction, terroristic threats and threatening to use incendiary devices.
Thompson was expected to testify Wednesday at Bachman’s preliminary hearing before District Judge Jerry C. Lepley, but at the last minute, Bachman, who remains jailed in lieu of $400,000 bail, waived the hearing.
It turned out the rifles and handguns all belonged to Thompson and were properly registered, police said.
“A lot of what’s going on right now in our country is focusing on the ‘problem’ with firearms. That’s not the problem. What the problem is in this country is that the people who need help simply aren’t getting it,” Thompson said.
“That should be the big issue, not the firearms,” he added.
However, Thompson admitted Wednesday that he was very concerned that Bachman could cause harm since he had access to Thompson’s guns.
“That is part of the reason I went to the police station. He knew where I kept the guns and he could have easily used them at any time. I was worried that things that I possess would be used in something that I did not want to be a part of,” Thompson said.
“All kinds of people have come up to be and called me ‘a hero’ and that I ‘saved the town.’ That is not what I wanted. That is not what this all about. I just want my good friend to get help,” he said. “We’ll probably never be good friends after this, but I hope he gets the help.”