A German man has been arrested after police say he deliberately ran his car into pedestrian in two neighboring cities near the Netherlands border shortly after midnight Tuesday, injuring four people.

The unidentified 50-year-old suspect form Essen made racist comments after he was arrested and possibly has a mental illness, according to police. The area is 325 miles west of Berlin and about 3 miles from the Netherlands border.

The victims included Syrian and Afghan nationals, police said.

“Investigators suspect it was a deliberate attack that may be linked to the xenophobic views of the driver,” according to a statement from local police.

Shortly after midnight, he drove a silver Mercedes deliberately at one male pedestrian in Bottrop, who avoided being hit. Then, the driver rammed into a group of people standing next to the street, injuring at least four. One remains in the hospital, according to police.

He later attempted to drive a group of people waiting at a bus stop in the neighboring Ruhr city of Essen, but he was stopped by police.

Last April, a man drove a van into people in a city square in Munster, killing four and injuring more than 20. Police fatally shot the 48-year-old man, who they said was mentally ill and had wanted to commit suicide.

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