Twenty homes were evacuated in Woodmere Tuesday night as police checked to see whether apparent explosive devices found in a house -- believed to be hand grenades -- were a threat, a spokesman said.
Meanwhile, a neighbor early Wednesday said several police cars lined the street and investigators continued to look for details.
Unspecified charges are pending against a man believed to be a resident of the home, but not the homeowner, Deputy Insp. Kenneth Lack said. Lack provided this account: About 1:36 p.m., a Fourth Precinct car responded to a silent alarm on Narrow Lane.
A police officer saw a 53-year-old man standing in the driveway and asked him for identification. The man gave him a credit card, but the officer said that was not sufficient.
The man said that was his only I.D., but that he had a key to the house. The man and police went to the house, he opened the door about halfway.
"As soon as the door was opened" there was the "unmistakably pungent smell of marijuana," Lack said, and what appeared to be two hand grenades and a black semiautomatic weapon in the hallway.
The arson/bomb squad was called in, the man was taken into custody, and the 20 homes were evacuated as a precaution, Lack said. The squad was trying to determine if the apparent grenades are real and their proper disposal, he said.
Police based the evacuation on a 500-foot possible explosion radius. Ted Block said he lives about five doors down from the home, and was not evacuated, but several of his neighbors who lived closer were. He said he didn't know if they had been allowed to return.He said the couple who "have lived there forever" were elderly.
"I know them as harmless people," Block said. "I got home around 3:15 and there was police activity already."