Nathan Campbell reportedly bought Venice hit-and-run Dodge Avenger in Colorado
Update: Yesterday, we noted that Nathan Campbell, arrested for a fatal and apparently intentional hit and run at Venice Beach in California, was from Colorado; see our previous coverage below. Now, we're learning that the car he used in the vehicular onslaught was purchased here. And information is also surfacing about a slew of mostly petty crimes Campbell committed in the Denver area before he drove into a crowd, injuring eleven people and killing one -- a young bride on her honeymoon. Details and more below.
As we've reported, surveillance footage showed a man believed to be Campbell near a sedan later identified as a 2008 Dodge Avenger this past Saturday. He then hopped behind the wheel and drove into the crowd, seemingly aiming at people before zooming away.
A surveillance image of people fleeing from the Dodge Avenger.
A number of vendors were struck, as were just plain folks visiting one of Southern California's most popular and memorable tourist attractions.
Among them was Alice Gruppioni, who had been married three days earlier to Christian Casadei in Italy and was enjoying her honeymoon when she was struck and killed. Here's a Facebook photo of Alice at the wedding with her father as shared by the New York Daily News.
A few hours after the nightmare at the beach, Campbell turned himself in at a Santa Monica police station -- a setting that wouldn't have seemed unusual to him, given the criminal record recounted by the Los Angeles Times.
The arrest on Campbell's record that's closest to what happened over the weekend -- reckless driving involving alcohol -- took place in Panama City Beach, Florida; he lived in that state and Georgia for a time. However, the Times reveals that he called Colorado home until relocating to California a short time ago -- and while he was here, he kept authorities busy with a number of mostly minor infractions.
Among his offenses was trespassing and disturbing the peace. He pleaded guilty to the former (the latter was dropped) and was ordered to pay a fine; when he didn't, he was jailed for several days in 2009. That same year, he was busted for shoplifting from the now defunct Virgin Megastore on the 16th Street Mall (he got five days for swiping a pair of headphones). A few months later, he was charged with trespassing after buying a ticket at the Denver Pavilions movie theater, from which he'd been banned (he had to take part in a sheriff's work program for that).
More recently, he cobbled together enough money to purchase the Dodge Avenger from a dealership in Littleton. Months later, he would allegedly use it to create hurt, heartbreak and tragedy.
Here's a larger look at Campbell's mug shot, followed by our previous coverage, including more photos and videos.
Original post, 7:13 a.m. August 5: Colorado is no stranger to tragic hit and runs -- but such incidents are seldom reported beyond the state.
Not so Saturday's shocking crash at Venice Beach, where a driver appeared to deliberately turn into a large crowd and aim for victims -- killing one person and injuring eleven in the process.
Now, it's reported that the person being held for the crime -- Nathan Campbell, 38 -- is a Colorado native. Photos, videos and details below.
The Colorado connection was established by the Los Angeles Times.
The paper notes that the usual large crowd had gathered along the Venice boardwalk, one of the most colorful tourist attractions in southern California, when a man believed to be Campbell was seen near a sedan that may have also been his home; he's been described as a transient.
Surveillance footage taken before the crash.
After the man climbed into the car, he sped off at speeds variously reported at between 35 and 60 miles per hour, then wheeled into the crowd.
A 7News piece points out that the vehicle struck at least three vendors among the dozen victims -- "a fortune teller, a couple selling jewelry and a woman who does tattooing" -- plus an ATM and two mannequins. Here are some images of the destruction left behind, from an L.A. television station report shared below.
The driver subsequently zoomed away from the scene. But a few hours later, he reportedly turned up at a Santa Monica police station and told officers there he'd been involved in the crash.
Thus far, few details about Campbell have surfaced, other than his state of birth and the amount of the bail placed on his head: $1 million.
Look below to see two videos about the incident -- one the aforementioned news report, the other surveillance footage.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Latoya Nelson busted in hit-and-run that killed Charlie Herrera, 85, at 13th and Kalamath."
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