France: Murder charges for driver in pizzeria car attack
PARIS (AP) — French authorities filed preliminary murder charges Wednesday against a security guard who intentionally sped his car into a crowded pizzeria east of Paris, killing an adolescent girl and injuring a dozen other people.
The charges came after a psychiatric examination determined that the 32-year-old suspect’s judgment was not impaired and he could be held be held legally responsible for his actions, according to the prosecutors’ office in Meaux.
Deputy prosecutor Eric de Valroger said in a statement that the suspect was given multiple preliminary charges, including aggravated murder, aggravated attempted murder and driving under the influence of drugs.
The man was jailed pending further investigation of Monday’s incident, the latest of several in France and elsewhere in which a vehicle was used as a weapon.
The prosecutor ruled out terrorism as a motive for the driver deliberately steering into the pizzeria in the village of Sept-Sorts crowded with about 30 people inside and on an outdoor terrace.
A 44-year-old woman remained in dangerous condition Wednesday, while four others were hospitalized with serious injuries and seven more with lesser injuries, the prosecutor said. The slain girl’s 3-year-old brother and father were among the people hurt.
The prosecutor’s office said the man did not explain his actions when he appeared before an investigating judge Wednesday. De Valroger said the suspect is “incoherent,” and it remains unclear if he intended to kill.
The driver told investigators he was a suicidal habitual drug user and had consumed “a large quantity” of painkillers the day before he accelerated into the restaurant.