PARIS (AP) — Police in southern France held a man on suspicion of attempted murder Friday after he allegedly steered his car toward a crowd, lightly injuring two people.
A police spokeswoman said road barriers stopped the car before it hit the pedestrians head-on in the town of Nimes, which celebrates its annual grape-harvesting festival this weekend.
The man was arrested after the incident at around 1:30 a.m. Friday.
The spokeswoman said she had no information about the man’s motives. She noted the investigation was being led by police who handle more routine crimes, not counter-terrorism investigators who step in when extremism is suspected.
The officer said she wasn’t authorized to be identified by name talking about the probe.
An official close to the investigation said the man was hospitalized and police investigators were unable to question him immediately or to verify reports he was heard at the scene shouting “Allahu akbar,” Arabic for “God is great.”
The official asked for anonymity while the investigation was in an early stage.
The local Midi Libre newspaper said bystanders kept the man, who witnesses said appeared to be in his 30s, from fleeing the scene.