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Melbourne attack

The driver later drove up Bourke Street Mall, a busy pedestrian street, and aimed the vehicle at pedestrians.

The youngest among the injured is a three-month-old baby who is fighting for life in The Royal Children's Hospital, where a two-year-old is in a serious condition and a nine-year-old is in a stable condition.

Police hold grave fears for critically injured victims as they seek to interview and charge the alleged driver Saturday.

Police said the man had a history of family violence and was wanted over a stabbing earlier in the day.

"I swear to God I will go to the city and I will run, you know, people over, I will run them over if they are going to come catch me", she claimed he said.

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The erratic driver had been deliberately driving through pedestrians at 60km an hour during lunchtime.

It was just hours later, at around 1.30pm local time, that the same man mounted a pavement near Bourke Street mall, in Melbourne's busy CBD, and deliberately drove his vehicle into a group of pedestrians.

Another witness, Rainbow Vekios, told the Herald-Sun that the driver was "screaming out to people".

Graham Ashton, Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, confirmed that the 26-year-old man in custody was previously known to police. "I saw one person getting CPR and another being treated".

The suspect, a 26-year-old man whose name was not released, had allegedly taken a woman hostage in his auto after stabbing his brother, officials said. He has come to our attention on many occasions in the past.

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Laura Polson was in Melbourne for the Australian Open and said she noticed crowds gathering on the sidewalks.

The man was arrested at the scene and there was no further threat to the public, Bateson said.

The corner of Bourke and Elizabeth streets was closed and some pedestrians were directed into the GPO by police as they tried to clear the area.

Images published by local media showed a badly damaged auto with a man in red underwear pinned to the ground by police.

Friday's incident in Melbourne occurred at a time when thousands of tourists have flocked to the city which is now hosting the Australian Open.

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