Transient with jail record held in beach rampage
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The man suspected of being behind the wheel of a sedan that careened down the crowded Venice Beach boardwalk last weekend, killing an Italian newlywed on her honeymoon and injuring 16, is a transient who served brief stints in jail in Colorado, authorities said Monday.
Nathan Louis Campbell, 38, had been in the Los Angeles area a short time but had no fixed address, and police have been unable to find any evidence he was working.
Investigators believe Campbell, who was arrested for investigation of murder after he walked into a police station several hours after the rampage on Saturday, was driving his own car.
Investigators have yet to provide an explanation why the driver maneuvered around a vehicle barrier early that evening and plowed into tourists and vendors along the fabled walkway bordering the Pacific, killing Alice Gruppioni, 32 and injuring 16 other people.
Little is known about Campbell, who is being held on $1 million bail. No relatives or close friends have emerged since the incident to talk about him, and police have revealed scant details.
Campbell lived in Colorado as recently as last year. He was evicted from his apartment in Denver for not paying $655 in rent in March 2012, records show.
He was sentenced to five days in jail after pleading guilty to shoplifting at a Denver supermarket in February 2009. Five months later, he was accused of trespassing at an outdoor mall in Denver and sentenced to 10 days in jail, court records show.
California authorities said no one with his name and birth date had a state driver’s license.
Police have not yet presented their case to prosecutors, and Campbell was not expected in court until at least Tuesday.
Police said Campbell initially parked outside a hotel and surveyed the boardwalk, where hundreds of people were sitting at cafes, walking along the seashore or shopping for jewelry, art or other items at vending stands.
Surveillance video showed a driver getting into a Dodge sedan, steering around a vehicle barrier and careening through the crowd.
Two mannequins and an ATM were knocked down as the car started hitting people. It swerved from side to side, often running straight into victims. The car struck at least three vendors — a fortune teller, a couple selling jewelry and a woman tattoo artist.
Witnesses said the car was traveling at least 35 mph along the crowded boardwalk.
The car eventually turned up a side street and headed away from the ocean. The vehicle was abandoned less than two
Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.
Please review our Policies and Procedures before registering or commenting