Toulouse prosecutor Pierre-Yves Couilleau told reporters that three students were injured on Friday when the motorist drove into the group, near a university campus in the city of Blagnac.
Three people were injured after a auto rammed through a group of students in front of a college in the French city of Toulouse.
The suspect, a single man who lives with his mother in Blagnac, had previously suffered severe psychiatric problems and was released from a court-ordered hospital stay in December 2016, the prosecutor said. The driver has been "maturing" the idea for about a month before the attack, he added.
The man was arrested immediately.
An attempted murder investigation has been opened, he said.
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As the Europe 1 television network reported, the incident happened at the exit of Lyceum-college St. Exupery.
All three of the victims, one woman and two men, are said to be in their early 20s.
In the wake of the incident, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb tweeted that "Support for injured young people in Blagnac".
Mauling people using trucks and heavy vehicles has become modus-operandi of "lone wolf" attackers inspired by the ideology of the terror group, ISIS.