A auto hit pedestrians near a bar in Nimes overnight, slightly wounding two people, AFP reports.
An official close to the investigation said the man was hospitalized and police investigators were unable to question him immediately or to verify reports he was heard at the scene shouting "Allahu akbar", Arabic for "God is great".
The incident occurred on Friday night in Nimes, where the annual festival of the grape harvest.
However his white Peugeot ran into barriers set up for the Feria de Nimes, a popular weekend festival featuring bull-fighting which attracts thousands of people each year.
It is reported the auto hit a security barrier which the people injured were stood behind.
The region's public prosecutor Eric Maurel said the suspect tried to flee but was detained by members of the public.
The spokeswoman said she had no information about the man's motives but noted that the investigation is being handled by regular police, not anti-terror investigators who step in when terrorism is suspected.
The 36-year-old driver, known to police services for previous petty crimes, suffered "mental confusion" when he was arrested.
The following year in 2016, a 19-tonne truck was driven into a crowd in Nice during Bastille Day killing 87 people.
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