A Des Moines woman who allegedly hit a teenager with her car because she was "a Mexican" was charged in another hit-and-run involving a black 12-year-old boy that same day, police say.
According to a Des Moines Police Department release, the boy was walking on a sidewalk in an apartment complex on Dec. 9 when Nicole Marie Poole Franklin, 42, accelerated the SUV she was driving and struck him, then fled the scene.
The boy's injuries were minor; an investigating officer's report provided to BuzzFeed News noted he had an abrasion and swelling on his right shin.
Franklin hit the boy about an hour before she struck a 14-year-old girl in the nearby suburb of Clive, Sgt. Paul Parizek told BuzzFeed News.
The girl, who was walking to school when she was hit, told local outlet KCCI that she doesn't remember the impact, but can recall the car coming toward her.
Police said Franklin told investigators she hit the girl because she believed the girl was Mexican, then made "a number of derogatory statements about Latinos."
Franklin was arrested later that day over another incident at a gas station in West Des Moines, Parizek said.
A West Des Moines Police incident report said Franklin used racial and ethnic slurs against a gas station employee and several black customers when she was confronted about not paying for items. She later told police she had used methamphetamine a few hours prior.
At the time of arrest, police did not know about her involvement in the hit-and-runs. Franklin now faces two charges of attempted murder for striking the children with her car, and one hate crime charge over the gas station incident.
Parizek said the three incidents collectively indicate that "the hate-filled motivation is apparent."