Pedestrians gather as police and fire officials respond after a car drove through a packed afternoon crowd along the Venice Beach boardwalk in Los Angeles, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013. At least a dozen people were injured, two of them critically, according to police. (AP Photo/Maarten Smitskamp)
KPCC is following developments in the story of a man who drove his car onto the Venice Beach boardwalk Saturday and, according to police and surveillance video, appeared to swerve into the crowd intentionally. An Italian woman on her honeymoon died as a result, and 15 other people were injured, including 11 who were taken to hospitals. Nathan Campbell, 38, the alleged driver of the Dodge Avenger, turned himself in an hour later and was being held in lieu of $1 million bail.
- 3:31 p.m.: Police raise estimate of number hurt in Venice crash
- 2:23 p.m.: Driver may have had arrest record in Colorado
- 11:40 a.m.: Driver had been arrested in Santa Monica before
- 7:58 a.m.: Councilman calls for better barriers at Venice boardwalk
Update: 3:31 p.m.: Police raise estimate of number hurt in Venice crash
The LAPD has raised to 16 its estimate of the number of people struck by a driver who careened onto the Venice boardwalk on Saturday, including one woman who died.
Of the 15 people who were injured, 11 were taken to local hospitals for treatment. All of those people have since been released, police told KPCC.
Alice Gruppioni, 32, was the sole fatality reported in the incident. Gruppioni was visiting Venice on her honeymoon after being married about two weeks ago. Her husband, Christian, survived and was among the injured.
Update 2:23 p.m.: Driver may have had arrest record in Colorado
A man named Nathan L. Campbell, who has the same birthdate as the Venice boardwalk hit-and-run suspect, was arrested at least three times in Denver, according to Denver County Court records.
The offenses all occurred on 16th Street, a popular downtown shopping street that, like the Venice boardwalk, also attracts both tourists and transients.
In 2008 Campbell was accused of disturbing the peace and trespassing. He was convicted of the trespassing count and fined. It's unclear from the record if he was jailed.
He was arrested in February 2009 on suspicion of shoplifting and received a five-day jail sentence. He was arrested again in July 2009 on suspicion of trespassing and got 10 days in jail.
Update 11:40 a.m.: Driver had been arrested in Santa Monica before
Nathan Campbell's arrest on suspicion of running down pedestrians on the Venice Boardwalk is not his first brush with the law.
The Santa Monica Police Department arrested Nathan Louis Campell on suspicion of public intoxication last year, according to arrest records.
A man with the same name and birthdate as the Venice boardwalk suspect was arrested last May, held overnight and then released, said Terry White, chief deputy city attorney of Santa Monica.
White says the city did not prosecute him. He did not have further details of the incident.
Five patients received from the crash at UCLA Medical Center were all released as of the end of Sunday, including one of the victims who was listed in serious condition.
Update 7:58 a.m.: Councilman calls for better barriers at Venice boardwalk
Councilman Mike Bonin said the city should install more barriers to prevent vehicles from driving onto the Venice boardwalk after a hit-and-run driver ran his car through beach crowds Saturday, killing an Italian honeymooner and injuring 11 other people.
"[Saturday's] incident might have been harder to stop, because this was a determined act of violence of someone who was really sick and determined to do harm. Most of the incidents are accidental — they can be prevented with better signage or barriers," Bonin said.
According to Los Angeles police, "confused or lost tourists, perhaps even following directions on smartphone apps, inadvertently turn onto the boardwalk, and occasionally there's a small accident," Bonin said.
Bonin told KPCC he plans to introduce a motion on Tuesday calling for a needs assessment for each intersection leading up to the boardwalk. At some intersections, he said, permanent bollards or large decorative planters could be installed to discourage vehicular traffic. At others, removable bollards would need to be installed to allow emergency vehicles to get through.
Bonin said he was not sure yet what the cost to the city would be, but after some informal research he guessed it could range from as little as $50 or $100 up to $800 for the barriers.