A Des Moines woman was charged with attempted murder on Friday for hitting a teen with her car because the teen was “a Mexican,” police said.
In a press release shared by the Clive City Police Department, police Chief Michael Venema said that the 14-year-old was on her way to a school activity on Dec. 9, when Nicole Marie Poole Franklin, 42, hit her with her car and left without helping her.
The police had initially thought this was a hit-and-run case and asked for help identifying the driver stating that the victim’s injuries were “significant.” They urged residents in the neighborhood to review footage from their security cameras to help identify the perpetrator.
Venema said Franklin was already in custody at Polk County Jail on other charges when she admitted to being the driver who hit the girl. KCCI reports she was being held on assault charges, after using racial slurs and throwing things at customers and employees of a convenience store.
According to Venema, Franklin told investigators that she intentionally hit the girl because she was "a Mexican" and subsequently made "a number of derogatory statements about Latinos."
Online records show Franklin is currently being held in Polk County Jail on a bond of $1 million for the attempted murder charge. She also faces charges of theft, violation of individual rights, consumption/intoxication, and possession of marijuana. No attorney is listed.
Venema said he would work to support the teen girl's family.
“I want to say, in the strongest terms possible, that there is no place in our community (or any other) for this type of hatred and violence," he wrote in a statement.
The victim’s family has requested privacy while she recovers.