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Police: Iowa woman said she ran over girl in racist attack

The Associated Press

Clive, Iowa – A Des Moines woman has been charged with attempted murder after she told police she intentionally ran over a 14-year-old girl because she believed the teenager was Mexican.

Clive Police Chief Mike Venema said Friday during a news conference that Nicole Marie Poole Franklin, 42, admitted to steering her SUV onto a sidewalk on Dec. 9 in the suburban Des Moines community and running over 14-year-old Natalia Miranda, who was walking to school to watch a basketball game. Franklin then fled the scene.

This undated photo provided by the Polk County (Iowa) Jail shows Nicole Marie Poole Franklin. Clive, Iowa police on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, charged Franklin, of Des Moines with attempted murder. She's accused of purposely running down a 14-year-old girl who was walking along a sidewalk in a suburban neighborhood. Police say Franklin told investigators she hit the girl because she is "a Mexican."

Franklin made several derogatory statements about Latinos during a police interview in which she admitted she intentionally ran over the teenager, police said.

“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.

Natalia suffered a concussion and severe bruising and was hospitalized for two days. She’s expected to make a full recovery.

“I don’t remember the impact,” the teenager told Des Moines television station KCCI in the days after the crash. “I just remember the car coming at me.”

Franklin was already in jail on a separate assault charge when police interviewed her about the hit-and-run. In the assault case, which also occurred on Dec. 9, she’s accused of making racist remarks to a West Des Moines convenience store clerk and customers and throwing items at the clerk.