CLIVE, Iowa (WHO) — An Iowa woman told investigators she ran down a 14-year old girl with her car because she thought the teen “was a Mexican,” according to the Clive Police Dept.
Nicole Poole Franklin, 42, of Des Moines, has been charged with attempted murder in the Dec. 9 incident, police said in a news release Friday.
Investigators say the girl was on the sidewalk walking to an activity at Indian Hills Junior High School when Franklin spotted her and drove off the roadway to run her over.
The 14-year-old suffered several injuries. Franklin allegedly left the scene without stopping to help the victim.
Clive police say Franklin then went to a West Des Moines gas station and started yelling racist comments at a cashier. She was arrested there and has been in the Polk County Jail since. On Friday, police say she continued to make racist statements during a jail interview and admitted to hitting the girl with her car.
Along with attempted murder, Poole Franklin is charged with assault, 5th degree theft, consumption/intoxication, and possession.
Investigators say they will look into hate crime charges.
Clive police say they have talked with the victim and her family to make sure they have support after the incident. The victim missed one week of school but is now back in class.
The family has asked for privacy at this time.
“I mean, in the most energetic terms possible, that there is no place in our community (or any other) for this kind of hatred and violence,” Clive police said in the news release. “We are committed to supporting the victim and his family and working diligently with them to seek justice.”