By Stefanie Geisler, Globe Correspondent
A Manchester-by-the-Sea man who allegedly had a cache of weapons in his home told police he was preparing for Armageddon, authorities said.
Gregory D. Girard, 45, was arrested Tuesday night for allegedly storing several tear gas grenades and explosive pepper ball projectiles. He was also charged with the illegal possession of four police batons.
Just before 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, Manchester-by-the Sea police executed a search warrant at 23 Bridge St., police said in a statement. Girard faces four counts of possession of an infernal device and four counts of possession of a dangerous weapon. Additional charges are pending, police said.
“He indicated to police that he anticipated some form of Armageddon to take place shortly and he was getting prepared,” Police Chief Glenn McKiel said.
In addition to the grenade-type devices, police found approximately 20 weapons, including high-powered rifles, shotguns, and handguns. All of the firearms were purchased and registered legally within the past 10 months, McKiel said.
Girard, a computer consultant, had a Class A license, which enabled him to purchase large-capacity firearms. According to police, he was granted the permit without question.
“He did not have a criminal record and there was no indication at the time [the permit] was issued that he shouldn’t have one,” McKiel said.
McKiel added police are not allowed to ask applicants why they are seeking a firearms permit.
Police also found a large collection of camouflage clothing, knives, bulletproof vests, helmets, and eight pairs of handcuffs in Girard’s home. They also discovered stockpiles of medicine and non-perishable foods. An illegal indoor shooting range was also found in the attic, police said.
Tactical officers evacuated two other condominium units in Girard’s building and brought residents to the police department while the search was completed.
Salem District Court Judge Richard Mori ordered Girard held without bail after he pleaded not guilty at his arraignment this morning. Mori slated a dangerousness hearing for Feb. 12.