PARIS — A motorist deliberately drove his car into two police motorcyclists on patrol in a Paris suburb on Monday, gravely injuring both, police unions said. One of the officers sustained a fractured skull and has been placed in a medically induced coma.
The assault took place in Colombes, in the northwestern outskirts of Paris.
Video footage circulating on social media and on the website of a newspaper, Le Parisien, showed one motorbike sandwiched between the crumpled hoods of a police car and a black BMW. Debris from a second bike lay strewn on the road.
“Two police motorcyclists in a serious condition after being deliberately hit in Colombes by an individual who also rammed a police car. Thoughts with our colleagues,” the Synergie-Officiers union wrote on Twitter.
Police sources say the suspect, 30, was arrested at the scene and lived nearby in a working-class area close to where unrest erupted last week.
The French interior minister, Christophe Castaner, hailed the response of officers who gave first aid to their comrades at the scene.
Police sources called the collision a deliberate act. Sources familiar with the investigation said the perpetrator had targeted the officers to avenge events in Palestine.
An investigation was being conducted, including psychiatric tests and searches, before a decision is made whether to hand the case over to France’s terrorism prosecutor, a source close to the inquiry said.
France has suffered major attacks by Islamist militants. Police officers and soldiers have been targeted on multiple occasions in recent years.
In October, an information technology assistant at police headquarters in central Paris went on a knife rampage inside the building, killing four people before he was shot dead.