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Man accused in Venice Beach car rampage has history of arrests

The man accused of plowing his car through the Venice Beach boardwalk, deliberately running people over and killing an Italian newlywed, has a long history of arrests, including one for reckless driving.

Prosecutors were expected to file charges as early as Tuesday against the man, Nathan Louis Campbell, who was being held on $1 million bail on suspicion of murder.

The car, a Dodge Avenger, tore through the boardwalk on Saturday, injuring 16 people and killing Alice Gruppioni, who was in California on her honeymoon. People dived for cover, and witnesses described blood and chaos in the aftermath.

The car knocked also over two mannequins, an ATM and at least three vendors, including a fortune teller.

As authorities pieced together a history of Campbell, public records showed he had lived in Georgia, Florida and Colorado, and was implicated in a string of petty crimes in recent years.

NBC Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Times reported that Campbell pleaded guilty to public drunkenness in Santa Monica, Calif., in 2002, and reckless driving with alcohol in Panama City Beach, Fla., in April 2008.

The Times, citing Colorado authorities, reported that Campbell was picked up by security guards at a Virgin Megastore in February 2009 after he stuffed a pair of headphones down his pants and tried to leave. He spent five days in jail, the authorities said.

The Times also reported that Campbell was arrested in July 2009 on suspicion of trespassing at a mall after he bought a movie ticket and refused to leave the theater. He had been warned twice not to go to the theater, Colorado prosecutors told the Times.

Sources told the Times that Campbell had a history of drug and alcohol addiction, had been sober for some time and then had relapsed.

Authorities said Campbell abandoned the car and turned himself in shortly after the rampage on Saturday. Witnesses told the Times that the car was speeding as fast as 60 mph as it sped down the boardwalk.

An autopsy on Gruppioni, 32, the newlywed, on Monday determined that she had died from blunt-force trauma to the head and neck. She was the daughter of a prominent Italian businessman who was once president of a premier Italian soccer club.

“There’s no words to describe our situation, our love,” her husband of two weeks, Christian Casadei, told NBC Los Angeles in a tearful interview. Casadei was also struck by the car and sustained minor injuries.

All 16 of the crash victims had left the hospital by Monday afternoon. One of them was a longtime Venice Beach tarot card and palm reader. Her granddaughter said she had bruises all over her body and had a concussion.