Driver Arrested over ‘Deliberate’ Melbourne SUV Attack Is ‘Afghan-Born Australian’

Andy Wells, Yahoo News, December 21, 2017

The driver arrested after a car was driven into pedestrians in Melbourne was a 32-year-old Australian of Afghan descent with a history of drug use and mental health problems, and there is no evidence to suggest a link with terrorism at this stage, police said.

Up to 19 people — including a preschool-aged child — are believed to have been injured, four critically, as a result of the white Suzuki SUV driving into crowds outside Flinders Street station just after 4.30pm (5.30am GMT).

Victoria Police earlier said the incident was a “deliberate act” but believe it was not a terror incident.

The driver of the car was detained by an off-duty police officer, who was later taken to hospital with injuries not believed to be critical.

Victoria Police chief Shane Patton told a press conference the driver had resisted arrest and there had been “somewhat of a fight between them”.

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“He is a person known to Victoria Police. He has historical assault matters an has a history of drug use as well as mental health issues.

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He added: “We do not at this time have any intelligence to indicate that there is a connection to terrorism.”

The second man held in connection with the incident was seen filming it on a mobile phone “and also had a bag that had some knives in it”, Mr Patton said, but it appears he may not be connected.

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A woman called Sue told 3AW radio: “As it (the car) approached this intersection… it just mowed everybody down, people were flying everywhere.”

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