A MANIAC driver swerved around safety barriers before deliberately crashing "full throttle" into kids at a carnival parade today in Germany, police said.
The attacker, named only as Maurice P., 29, was set upon by an angry mob before police arrested him after the bloody carnage which left more than 30 people injured.
According to eyewitnesses, his silver Mercedes estate drove into a large group of locals lining the parade route at 2.45pm local time in the town of Volkmarsen.
They told news site HNA he swerved around special barriers before driving "full throttle" into the crowd and appeared to be targeting children.
One said the driver careered more than 30 metres into the gathered masses before his car eventually ground to a halt.
The driver was still pressing the accelerator when he was hauled from his mangled car by cops, Hessenschau reported.
KIDS AMONG INJURED
And shocked locals told Bild that an angry mob quickly surrounded the crashed car meaning police had to protect the man as he was taken into custody.
Seven of the 30 people hurt are seriously injured, it has been reported.
Children are among those critically injured, officials said.
Authorities confirmed that the driver was arrested and is being probed for attempted homicide.
The official said there is no indication that the crash was politically motivated.
Police later said the 29-year-old deliberately ploughed into the crowd of people.
A police official told Bild that "psychological problems" may have played a role.
Speaking about the driver, Attorney General Alexander Badle said: "He was not drunk and cannot be heard because of his injuries."
However, a neighbour of the man told RTL: "I saw him drive away today, he looked like he was on drugs and said, 'I'll be in the newspaper soon.'"
It is believed the 29-year-old German national sustained injuries while ploughing into the crowd.
Masked police were seen at the Volkmarsen home of the attacker this evening.
I saw him drive away today, he looked like he was on drugs and said, 'I'll be in the newspaper soonAttacker's neighbour
A second person was also arrested after they filmed the car assault although it is not clear if they are a suspect.
District Administrator Dr. Reinhard Kubat said: “Crying people came towards me. There were mainly injured children on the street, but also older people.
"Children came up to me and said it did, pop, pop, pop whenever the car ran over a person. "
Local reporter Elmar Schulten, of the Waldeckische Landeszeitung, added: “When I arrived there were 15 people on the floor, including many small children"
She told how crying mums and dads were seen holding their injured kids in their arms.
Police say it is not yet known whether the shocking incident was the result of an accident or some kind of sickening attack.
"Regardless of whether it is a medical emergency or a technical failure or if at worst there is intention behind it, we cannot say anything about it," said a force spokesman.
However, local police chiefs have urged people not to spread any "unconfirmed reports" about the incident.
Paramedics are still at the scene and treating the injured - including several young kids - in makeshift medical tents.
Dozens of ambulances and police units were also called to the scene along with an emergency helicopter.
Volkmarsen, which has a population of 7,000, is east of Duesseldorf, near Kassel.
Carnival celebrations take place in Germany every year in the week before Ash Wednesday.
Festivities peak on 'Rose Monday' with tens of thousands attending parades featuring comical floats.
Today's shocking incident comes a week after a far-right terrorist shot nine people dead, then killed his mother and himself in the German town of Hanau.
EVILParents who made son kneel on pile of buckwheat so it grew into his skin, jailed
VILLAGE HORRORPrincess Anne's pal shot dead & husband critical in 'murder-suicide bid'
WEINSTEIN CAGEDHarvey Weinstein howls 'I'm innocent' as he's jailed for rape & sex attack
SCHOOL TRAGEDYBoy, 16, killed himself after pupils bullied him 'for years' for being gay
DOUBLE DEATHMan, 52, & woman, 21, killed after car plunges into water near primary school
TABLE DISSERVICEFamily slammed for leaving 'disgusting mess' after Harvester meal
All his victims - which included a 35-year-old pregnant mum-of-two - came from migrant backgrounds.
The gun maniac's body was found next to his dead 72-year-old mother in the early hours of Thursday morning.
Tobias Rathjen, 43, is believed to have bought a Glock 17, 9mm pistol legally online with a gun licence he had owned since 2013.