HART, Mich. (WOOD) — The driver accused of crashing into an Oceana County store on Wednesday afternoon is the same man who rammed into a Coast Guard station two years ago.
The crash happened at the Shopko Hometown store, located at 2278 Comfort Drive in Hart, south of Ludington. The Hart Police Department said that no one was injured.
Authorities say Matthew Krueger was behind the wheel. He was charged Thursday afternoon with malicious destruction of a building, assault with a dangerous weapon and reckless driving.
The prosecutor explained that the victim named in the assault charge was closest to the door when the truck barreled into the building.
“She had, to my understanding, to move to avoid being struck,” Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon said.
He frequents the store.
“I know how busy it can be. I think we are incredibly lucky nobody was hurt,” he said.
Bizon said the truck drove halfway into the store before finally stopping.
Krueger allegedly crashed into the store after he was denied a prescription refill at the pharmacy, according to a police source.
In court Thursday, when 24 Hour News 8 asked Krueger why he did it, he replied, “Because I was angry at the prescription clerk that ran the prescription desk.”
It’s unclear what the prescription was for.
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In 2015, Krueger was found not guilty by reason of insanity for setting fire to a hobby barn in Oceana County, which was owned by his family, on Feb. 8. Later that morning, he called in a bomb threat to the Coast Guard station in Grand Haven, rammed the gate and assaulted a service member.
As part of the pleas, Krueger was sent to a mental health facility. It’s unclear how long he was there because those records are private. However, 24 Hour News 8 was told he was released after evaluations by state of mental health professionals showed he was fit for release.
Some people on Hart wondered how this could happen again.
“Well, one thing people have to remember this is the United States of America. We don’t just lock people up, we don’t throw them away,” Bizon said. “We worry that somebody who has had an episode due to mental illness will have another episode, but we can’t just put people in a hole or room and lock them away,”
Bizon said there will always be a risk, but his office and society has to manage that risk in the best way possible.
“I think it’s the best system in the world, but it’s imperfect,” he said in reference to the legal system.
Krueger is being held on a $100,000 bond. He has a preliminary conference on May 15.
Photo courtesy: Oceana County Press