An Iowa woman has been charged with attempted murder after she allegedly admitted to police that she ran over a teenage girl because she was Hispanic, Seattle’s KIRO-FM reports. Nicole Franklin allegedly made derogatory statements about Latinos to police after the incident.
At about 5 p.m. on December 9, 14-year-old Natalia Miranda was walking to school to see a basketball game in Clive, in suburban Des Moines. She says that the next thing she remembers, an SUV crossed the sidewalk and was barreling straight toward her.
“I don’t remember the impact. I just remember the car coming at me,” Natalia said.
Natalia survived the encounter, spending two days in the hospital being treated for a concussion and severe bruising. She is expected to make a full recovery.
The driver of the vehicle that struck Natalia, identified later by police as Nicole Marie Poole Franklin, 42, allegedly fled the scene.
Also on December 9, Franklin had allegedly made racist remarks to a West Des Moines convenience store clerk and customers and had allegedly thrown items at the clerk. For that particular incident, she was taken to jail.
Police released surveillance video of the incident crash that injured Natalia, and with the help of the public, they were able to hone in on a suspect: Franklin, who was already in jail on the assault charges. There, police reportedly asked her about the hit-and-run accident, and she allegedly admitted that she had run over Natalia.
According to The Daily Beast, she allegedly made derogatory statements about Latinos during the interview and allegedly admitted that she ran over the teenager because she (the teen) was Hispanic.
“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,” said Clive Chief of Police Michael Venema.
Venema declined to provide specifics about what Franklin allegedly said. He did, however, make it clear that there is no room for hate in Iowa.
“I want to say in the strongest terms possible that there is no place in our community … for this type of hatred or violence,” Venema said.
As for Natalia, Venema says that her family was “surprised and shocked” that someone had targeted their daughter for such a crime.
It remains unclear, as of this writing, if Franklin and the alleged victim knew each other or had otherwise had any contact with each other prior to this reported crime.