A man drove his car into a crowd of people in western Germany early Tuesday, injuring at least four in what appears to have been an intentional attack against foreigners, authorities said.
The 50-year-old driver of a silver Mercedes first attempted to hit a group of people in the city of Bottrop shortly after midnight, but the pedestrians were able to jump out of the way, Muenster police said.
The suspect, a German man, then drove into the center of Bottrop where he slammed his car into a crowd. Police said those hit included Syrian and Afghan citizens, and some were seriously injured.
The driver then sped off toward the nearby city of Essen, where he tried and failed to hit people waiting at a bus stop before being arrested by police on suspicion of attempted homicide.
The driver, whose name wasn’t released, made anti-foreigner comments during his arrest and there were indications he suffered from mental illness, police said.
“The man had the clear intention to kill foreigners,” Herbert Reul, the top security official in North Rhine-Westphalia state, was quoted as saying by the German news agency dpa.