Venice Boardwalk is Open to Cars; City Leader Wants That Changed

Venice Boardwalk is Open to Cars; City Leader Wants That Changed
A car-sized gap in the boardwalk's barriers via Mike Bonin's Facebook page.

See also: Car Plows Into Crowds on Venice Boardwalk; 1 Dead, 11 Injured.

The driver who mowed down 12 people on the Venice boardwalk Saturday, killing one, appears to have driven onto a sidewalk to avoid barriers installed to prevent vehicles from accessing the walkway.

That's what L.A. city Councilman Mike Bonin says. He plans to introduce a measure aimed at further restricting vehicles on Ocean Front Walk during the City Council's meeting Tuesday:

Nathan Louis Campbell, 38, surrendered to Santa Monica police, and a car matching the description of the one involved in the rampage was found in that city Saturday night, authorities said.

Campbell was arrested by the LAPD on suspicion of murder and was being held in lieu of $1 million bail.

Alice Gruppioni, 32, an Italian here on her honeymoon, was killed, according to police and reports; her husband was injured.

Despite barriers, the boardwalk has a series of quasi entry points like the one used by the suspect in Saturday's rampage. Police, paramedics and lifeguards need to get onto the walkway and do so often.

There have even been LAPD vehicle pursuits of suspected gang members on the boardwalk at night.

There are also parking lots on the beach side of Ocean Front Walk, so cars cross it everyday.

Bonin stated over the weekend:

... We are going to do everything we can to restrict non-emergency vehicular access to the Venice Boardwalk. The site of last night's horrible tragedy actually had four bollards blocking the street, but apparently the assailant sped right around them, over the sidewalk and into the crowd.

This will require creative and perhaps expensive solutions, maybe even gates. Venice is one of the biggest tourist attractions on the West Coast and first responders are on and off the boardwalk with their vehicles at all hours.

Venice Boardwalk is Open to Cars; City Leader Wants That Changed
Mike Bonin / Facebook

Bonin told Fox 11 News:

It illustrates some holes in our public safety protection here at Venice Beach that we need to plug up very quickly.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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