Iowa woman ran over 14-year-old schoolgirl because she 'was a Mexican,' police mull charging her with hate crime
The suspect, identified as Nicole Marie Poole Franklin, 42, was charged with attempted murder and police are looking whether the incident can be labeled a hate crime
CLIVE, IOWA: A Des Moines woman has admitted to running over a teenager who was on her way to school because she was "a Mexican."
Although the Clive Police Department initially thought that the incident was a hit-and-run, they later discovered that the driver of the vehicle which ran over a 14-year-old girl earlier this month, did so intentionally. The name of the girl was not released because she was a minor.
"On December 9, shortly before 5 pm, a 14-year-old girl walked down the sidewalk on her way to an activity in Indian Hills Jr. High School. A vehicle left the road and ran over the girl. She suffered numerous wounds," the police said in a press release on their Facebook page, as they shared a photo of the suspect.
The girl later told CNN: "I don't remember the impact, I just remember the car coming toward me. I didn't do anything, I'm just a girl just walking to a basketball game."
Authorities asked for public assistance in locating the driver after she fled the scene of the crime. The suspect was later identified as Nicole Marie Poole Franklin, 42, who was already under arrest at Polk County Jail, on other unrelated charges.
After being interrogated by the detectives, she admitted that she deliberately drove onto the sidewalk, ran over the teenager because she "was a Mexican". She then went onto making a series of derogatory statements about Latinos. She was charged with attempted murder.
Clive Police Chief Michael Venema said during a news conference that they were currently looking into whether running the girl over was a hate crime. "We're going to present all of that information to the prosecutors and ultimately they will make the determination on what crimes to prosecute," Venema said.
"Our victim's family requests privacy while dealing with this new information. They ask not to be contacted by the media at this time," the police's press release said, before adding, "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. We are committed to supporting the victim and his family and working diligently with them to seek justice."