Paul Krese heard the television news about a homeless man who died Tuesday in a Maryland Metro station after he was hit by a train.
On Wednesday night he learned the man was his son, Matthew Krese.
“The minute they called, I knew what it was,” said Paul Krese, of Dale City.
Paul and his wife Monika Krese have an unlisted phone number. Verizon called and told them Forest Glen detectives wanted to talk to them about a police investigation.
Krese knew it wasn’t about an investigation.
“They had no reason to be talking to me and if Matt was in jail, he’d have called,” the 68-year-old retired Metro driver said.
Matthew Krese, 46, had a hard life. He lost his right leg in an auto accident when he was 16. He managed to finish three years of college, but then bipolar disorder struck.
“Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic-depressive illness, is a psychiatric condition that causes drastic shifts in a person’s mood, energy level, and ability to function,” according to Carolyn Turvey, University of Iowa Health Science Relations assistant professor of psychiatry, on the Virtual Hospital Web site at http://www.vh.org.
Bipolar symptoms are severe, but the disease can be treated, and people diagnosed with the disorder can be as normal as anyone else if they stay on their medication, the Web site said.
Matthew Krese wouldn’t stay on his medication, which is often the case with those who suffer from the disorder, said Paul Krese.
Krese said his son achieved normality when he took his medicine, but often went off it for months at a time.
“If you know anyone personally, a loved one or anyone else, be on their back and stay on it to take their medication,” Paul Krese said.
Matthew Krese was in and out of homeless shelters since he graduated high school in St. Louis, Mo.
He came to the area in 1998, Krese said.
Like many with the disorder, Matthew Krese was prone to erratic behavior, Paul Krese said.
Once a woman gave him new clothes that he promptly threw into the Potomac River from the Key Bridge, Krese said.
Matthew Krese’s developed chronic Cellulitis, the inflammation of cellular tissue, in his remaining leg and became dependent on pain medication, Paul Krese said.
“He kept going to hospitals all over the area getting prescriptions for Percocet or whatever he could get for the pain in his leg,” he said.
Police identified Krese by the bottles of medicine they found on his body.
The Maryland medical examiner told Krese that his son’s injuries were inconsistent with suicide.
Police had a recording of Matthew Krese pacing near the tracks.
“I think what he was doing was getting impatient waiting on the train,” Paul Krese said.
Homeless people often leave little behind when they die. Krese said he wanted to talk about his son’s death, “just so people could know that he was on earth.”
Krese said he wants to encourage people with bipolar disorder or their families to seek help.
“It’s nothing to be ashamed of,” he said. “It’s just a chemical imbalance.”
Staff writer Keith Walker can be reached at (703) 878-8063.