Dodge Avenger used in Venice Beach rampage bought in Colorado, Los Angeles Times reports

Suspect Nathan Campbell has Colo. criminal record

LOS ANGELES - The man arrested for allegedly plowing into a crowd at Venice Beach moved to Los Angeles less than a month ago and was driving a 2008 Dodge Avenger just purchased from a dealership in Jefferson County, Colo., the Los Angeles Times reports.

Nathan Louis Campbell, 38, had a history of mostly petty crimes in Colorado and Florida, before he moved to California.

According to court records, Campbell was arrested for shoplifting at the Denver Pavilions on the 16th Street Mall in February 2009. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five days in jail.

Five months later, he was accused of trespassing -- again on the 16th Street pedestrian mall. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 days in jail, court records state.

In August 2008, Campbell again was arrested on 16th Street for disturbing the peace and trespassing. He pleaded guilty to trespassing, court records state. He spent some time in jail, but it's unclear how much.

He was evicted from his apartment in Denver for not paying $655 in rent in March 2012. A man named "Nathan Campbell" was also evicted from a Denver residence in June 2013, but court records don't make clear if it's the suspect in the hit-and-run case.

Campbell's most serious prior arrest was for alcohol-related reckless driving in Panama City, Fla., in 2008, according to court records.

In Los Angeles, Campbell is accused of a hit-and-run rampage on Saturday that killed one person and hurt 11 others in Venice Beach Saturday. Authorities arrested Campbell on suspicion of murder after he walked into a police station in neighboring Santa Monica and said he was involved.

The Los Angeles Times said Campbell is a transient who may have been living in his car.

Police declined to discuss a motive but Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese said there was no indication that the attack was a terrorist act or that anyone else was involved.

The driver first parked outside a hotel and surveyed the boardwalk: Hundreds of people were sitting at cafes, walking along the seashore or shopping at vendors selling jewelry or art.

Then, according to surveillance video, the man got into a large black car, steered around a vehicle barrier and drove through the crowd.

The driver knocked over two mannequins and an ATM and started hitting people, swerving from side to side and often running straight into victims. Video showed the car struck at least three vendors -- a fortune teller, a couple selling jewelry and a woman who does tattooing.

Witnesses said the car was traveling at about 35 to 40 mph along the boardwalk.

The driver eventually turned up a side street and headed away from the ocean. The car was later found abandoned less than two miles away, police said.

Saturday's hit-and-run killed an Italian woman on her honeymoon and hurt 11 others who only a moment earlier had been enjoying a late afternoon near the beach at the height of vacation season.  An autopsy for the Italian newlywed was planned for Monday, the Times reported.

Mustafa Balci's booth on the Venice Beach boardwalk was struck within seconds of the start of the rampage. The car swerved left, sideswiping a picnic table holding the couple's wares -- the traditional Turkish blue glassware of the eye to ward off the evil eye, and wall hangings of Jesus and Virgin Mary tapestries.

The car hit three customers looking at the items, and slammed into Balci's knees pushing him backward, breaking a table, smashing a mirror and scattering everything. His wife, Yesim Balci, was flung 8 feet, tumbling backward and landing facedown.

By the time it was over, the driver had covered about a quarter of a mile along the boardwalk before speeding away. The entire incident was over in minutes.

"I couldn't see her when I woke up, I looked up and was like where is she? I yelled, 'Are you around? Are you alive?' She yelled back, 'I'm alive,'" Mustafa Balci said. "I thought both of us would be dead."

Balci, 44, was helped up by strangers who took him over to his wife. The couple were taken along with three others to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, treated for minor injuries and released.

Yesim Balci, 48, had her ankle taped up, blood seeping through the back, and bruises all over her body. On Sunday, she couldn't raise her left arm.

People were "stumbling around, blood dripping down their legs, looking confused not knowing what had happened, people screaming," said Louisa Hodge, who described "blocks and blocks of people just strewn across the sidewalk."

The Italian woman was identified as Alice Gruppioni, 32. Her family in Bologna told the Italian news agency LaPresse that she had been on her honeymoon after a July 20 wedding.

Gruppioni worked as a manager for the family business Sira group, which makes radiators. Her father, Valerio Gruppioni, runs the company and was formerly president of the Bologna soccer team, according to LaPresse.

The family declined to speak to The Associated Press on Sunday.

Another person was critically injured. Two others were taken to hospitals in serious condition. Eight suffered less serious injuries, police said.

On Sunday, the boardwalk featured the typical summer crowd, people on roller blades, beach cruisers, performers and regular vendors. The Balcis were also back at their booth to take stock of their losses.

A broken picnic table was behind them, and a box of their damaged wares in front of them.

They estimated that 90 percent of their goods were broken, at a loss of $6,000 for handmade goods whose raw materials were shipped from Turkey. They don't have any health insurance and aren't sure how they will make up the losses.

"We're not here to work or sell anything, we're here for damage control, to take our stuff and go home and rest," Mustafa Balci said.

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