An Iowa woman arrested for running down a teen with her car and telling police she did it because the girl “was a Mexican” attempted to hit a black boy the same day, police said.
She is now facing potential hate crime charges.
As USA Today reported, Nicole Poole Franklin has been charged with attempted murder after allegedly admitting that she intentionally ran over a 14-year-old girl with her car. Now, police are saying that before she hit the girl, she tried to strike a young black boy with her car. Police said the woman — from West Des Moines, Iowa — started the incident by making a series of racist remarks to customers at a convenience store and threw items at a clerk, leading to police charging her with assault, theft, and public intoxication.
Police said that when they reviewed surveillance footage, they found the woman intentionally hit a 12-year-old black boy as she left the store. Video showed the woman’s SUV jumping the curb and running over the boy’s leg before she fled. The boy suffered minor injuries.
Close to an hour later, she tried to hit a 14-year-old girl with her car as the teen was walking to school to watch a basketball game, police said. The report noted Franklin was arrested 90 minutes later. Police said Franklin admitting to running down the teen and did it because the girl “was a Mexican.”
The 42-year-old is now being investigated for hate crimes for the incidents, Sgt. Paul Parizek of the Des Moines police told reporters. He noted that the series of crimes appeared to be motivated by hate.
“The collective voice of metro law enforcement, and the communities we serve, is sending the message that if you commit biased-based crimes, we will charge you with the most serious offense applicable, with the most severe consequences,” Parizek said. “In this case, that charge is attempted murder.”
The 14-year-old girl who was struck, Natalia Miranda, said that she remembered seeing the car come toward her but doesn’t remember the impact, as reported by KCCI. She was badly bruised and suffered a concussion in the crash. She was in considerable pain afterward, the report noted.
“I was in the hospital and I tried moving, and I couldn’t get out of my bed,” the teen said. “Sitting up was the worst pain I’ve ever felt.”
The arrest of Franklin has attracted national attention, with many major news outlets picking up the story and others sharing it on social media, calling for prosecutors to ensure they pressed charges for hate crimes.