Venice boardwalk rampage suspect ‘profoundly depressed,’ lawyer says

Nathan Louis Campbell is arraigned at the Airport Courthouse in Los Angeles.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

A 38-year-old Colorado man was charged with murder and other crimes for allegedly driving his car into pedestrians on the Venice boardwalk. His attorney said the man is sad and depressed over what happened.

Nathan Louis Campbell, who was arraigned Tuesday afternoon at the Airport Courthouse, faces 16 counts of assault with a deadly weapon and 17 counts of hit-and-run, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

He is also charged with murder in the death of Alice Gruppioni, 32, of Italy, who was in Los Angeles on her honeymoon. At least 16 others were injured.


Bail for Campbell was set at $1.48 million. If convicted, he faces up to life prison. He pleaded not guilty.

“I don’t believe he intentionally tried to hit anybody,” said public defender Philip Dube told the Associated Press. “He’s profoundly sad, he is profoundly depressed, that he has potentially ended somebody’s life. I think this was a horrible accident.”

Campbell is accused of driving his 2008 Dodge Avenger onto the boardwalk shortly before 6 p.m. Saturday, and witnesses said he appeared to aim the vehicle at pedestrians. Authorities said Campbell later abandoned the vehicle at Ocean Park Boulevard and Beverly Avenue and turned himself into Santa Monica police about two hours later.

Sources familiar with the investigation said Campbell made spontaneous statements to police at the time of his arrest that implicated himself in the hit-and-run.

Court records from other states indicate Campbell had a history of relatively minor crimes.

In Colorado, a Nathan L. Campbell with the same birthdate as the Venice boardwalk suspect was accused of shoplifting in February 2009 and spent five days in a Denver jail; he was accused of trespassing in July 2009 and spent 10 days in jail, records show.

He had also been accused of trespassing in 2008, according to Denver County court records. Denver police confirmed the records and jail time.

Florida public records show that a Nathan Louis Campbell was arrested in April 2008 by Panama City Beach police and charged with reckless driving with alcohol. He was listed as a transient born in Georgia.


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