A 14-year-old girl in Iowa is recovering after being run over by a woman who targeted the teen because she thought the girl was Mexican, police said.
Nicole Marie Poole Franklin, 42, was arrested Thursday after striking the girl with her car on Wednesday while the teen was walking to Indian Hills Jr. High School. What was initially thought to be a hit and run now appears to be targeted, Clive Police Department Chief Michael G. Venema said in a statement Friday.
“During the interview Franklin not only admitted to being the driver of the car that struck this girl, but also that she had done so intentionally,” Venema said in the statement. “Franklin told investigators that she ran the girl over because she was, in her words, ‘a Mexican’. She went on to make a number of derogatory statements about Latinos to the investigators.”
The girl, identified by station KCCI, said she suffered a concussion and other injuries and was hospitalized for two days.
“I don’t remember the impact. I just remember the car coming towards me,” she told the station.
Franklin allegedly smoked methamphetamine before the attack, the Des Moines Register reported.
Franklin has been charged with attempted murder and is being held on a $1 million bond. She also faces theft, assault and substance charges, according to her arrest report.
Community members, including the Des Moines chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens said she should also be charged with a hate crime, KCCI reported. In a news conference Friday, Venema said his department is looking into adding the additional charge.