An Iowa woman was charged with attempted murder after running over a 14-year-old girl, saying she did so because the teenager “was a Mexican,” police said.
Nicole Marie Poole Franklin, 42, was arrested on other charges and Thursday admitted to Clive police she hit the girl with her vehicle on December 9.
The girl was walking to Indian Hills Junior High when a vehicle drove onto the sidewalk, ran over her and left the scene.
“I don’t remember the impact, I just remember the car coming toward me,” the girl said. She added that she had been going to a basketball game. “I didn’t do anything, I’m just a girl just walking to a basketball game.”
Officials say the girl was able to return to school one week after the incident.
During her interrogation with detectives, Poole Franklin, a Des Moines resident, said she was the driver and intentionally struck the girl because she “was a Mexican,” police said. Poole Franklin then “made a series of derogatory statements about Latinos,” police said.
Poole Franklin was charged with assault in a separate incident on December 9 after police said she used racist terms toward a clerk and customers at a West Des Moines convenience store and threw items at the clerk. This incident took place about an hour and a half after the hit-and-run.
Authorities are looking at whether Poole Franklin running the girl over was a hate crime.