Police say an Iowa woman confessed that she ran over a teen because she “was a Mexican.”
Nicole Poole Franklin has been charged with attempted murder after she admitted to intentionally running over a 14-year-old Mexican girl with her car, police said, CNN reports.
Police said Franklin “made a series of derogatory statements about Latinos,” CNN reports.
But her alleged hate crimes began about an hour before she hit the Mexican girl when Franklin jumped a curb and struck a 12-year-old Black boy in a Des Moines apartment complex, police said, CNN reports.
Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek says video footage shows Franklin hitting the boy in the apartment complex parking lot, CNN reports.
Police also say a witness reported seeing Franklin in the apartment complex before and on the day she struck the boy. Franklin allegedly “gunned” the engine on her SUV prior to hitting him, CNN reports.
Franklin landed a second attempted murder charge for hitting the boy, CNN reports.
Police say the boy’s injuries were minor. The 14-year-old girl was hospitalized for her injuries and returned to school within a week, CNN reports.
“I didn’t do anything,” the girl, whose name was not released, told CNN affiliate KCCI. “I’m just a girl just walking to a basketball game.”
After both hit-in-runs, approximately 90-minutes after striking the girl, Franklin continued her alleged racist actions at a West Des Moines convenience store where she used racist slurs toward a clerk and customers, police said, CNN reports.
Franklin reportedly pocketed some items and when a clerk questioned her about stealing, she began yelling racial slurs at him and other customers, the West Des Moines police reported, CNN reports.
According to the police report, Franklin was charged with assault, theft and public intoxication after the convenience store incident. She also admitted she’d smoked meth within the past five hours of going to the store, CNN reports.
While detectives interviewed her about the incident in the store, Franklin admitted to hitting the 14-year-old girl, according to the Clive Police Department, CNN reports.
Police later saw the video footage of Franklin allegedly hitting the 12-year-old boy, CNN reports.
“Looking at the three incidents collectively, the hate-filled motivation is apparent,” Parizek told CNN in an email.
Clive Police Chief Michael Venema said, CNN reports, “There is no place in our community (or any other) for this kind of hatred and violence.”
The Des Moines Adult Public Defender’s Office withdrew from Franklin’s case, CNN reports.
The office told CNN that a district judge will appoint her a new attorney during her preliminary hearing for her first attempted murder charge on December 30.