LOS ANGELES, CA – One woman is dead and 15 people were injured after the driver of a car sped across a sidewalk and straight into a crowd enjoying the Venice Beach boardwalk.
According to both security video and witness statements, 38-year-old Nathan Campbell parked the black Avenger next to the Cadillac Hotel, twice leaving the car to walk out to the boardwalk before getting back in and accelerating onto the boardwalk, swerving to avoid the yellow poles meant to prevent cars from getting into the area designated for pedestrians-only.
“The driver was out for blood,” a witness said, describing a driver’s attempt to turn the world-famous Venice boardwalk into a real-life version of Grand Theft Auto, running over pedestrians and vendors in a black Dodge Avenger.
The incident was called in to police shortly after 6 p.m. Saturday, and witnesses told police and reporters that the driver looked to be in control of the car as it ran people down, intentionally trying to hit those enjoying the boardwalk on a crowded summer afternoon. One witness, Louisa Hodge, who’d been strolling with a friend on the boardwalk, called the scene bloody and gruesome.
Campbell got away before police could respond, fleeing the scene as pedestrians tried to chase the car down. An hour later, however, just as authorities announced that they were seeking a black sedan in connection with the attack, Campbell entered a police station in Santa Monica, and told officers he was involved in the bloodbath, Los Angeles police Lt. Andy Neiman said.
While questioning that individual, officers found a car nearby which they believe Campbell had abandoned. Campbell was charged with murder and is being held on $1 million bond. The woman he killed, 32-year-old Alice Gruppioni, was from Italy. She and her husband had recently married and were in Los Angeles on their honeymoon.Tags: California, Crime, Hit and Run, Nathan Campbell, Vehicular Homicide, Venice