Friend: Coast Guard attack suspect ‘a real nice guy’

Matthew Krueger's mug shot from the Ottawa County Jail. (Feb. 9, 2015)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A friend said allegations that Matthew Krueger set a fire, called in a bomb threat and assaulted someone seem out of character for the upbeat, outgoing man he knows.

Krueger, 33, faces two felony charges in Ottawa County. He allegedly called 911 early Sunday and said he planned to blow up the Coast Guard station in Grand Haven. He then apparently rammed a gate at the facility with his pickup truck and assaulted a Coast Guardsman. He was stopped by members of the Coast Guard before police showed up to arrest him, and authorities soon determined there was no bomb.

Krueger has also been linked to an arson at the property in Oceana County’s Mears where he had been staying, which is owned his parents, though no charges have yet been filed in that case.

Krueger’s criminal history had been clean up to this point, with only a couple of minor vehicle violations out of Illinois.

“Just open hearted, a real nice guy,” Dan McGlone said in a Monday night phone interview.

McGlone has known Krueger since they went to middle school together in the Chicago area. The two rode bikes together or went to skate parks as teens.

McGlone said he, Krueger and Krueger’s younger brother were supposed to go to a BMX bike event in Milwaukee on Sunday, but the brother called Sunday morning to cancel, saying there was a family emergency but not providing further details.

“I’m shocked, really shocked. He’s not that type of person that I can see doing that,” McGlone said. “I’ve never seen him go off on anybody, get angry or upset, so it’s very shocking to hear about that.”

Krueger worked for a rail company, according to McGlore, and had a happy life.

“He had everything. He had a house, he had a good job,” he said.

McGlone said doesn’t know why Krueger would target a Coast Guard station. As far he knows, Krueger and his family don’t have any ties to the Coast Guard.

He said he hopes police determine Krueger’s motive and get him some help.

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