A 14-year-old girl is in the hospital after an Iowa woman struck her with her SUV in a hit-and-run incident resulting in attempted murder charges after the woman behind the wheel said she did it because the teenager is “a Mexican.”
Clive Police Chief Michael Venema said hate crime charges are being considered against Nicole Marie Poole Franklin, 42, after she intentionally hit the teen as she was walking on the sidewalk in Clive, Iowa, and then fled the scene on Dec. 9.
At a news conference Friday morning, Venema said this action has “no place in our community.”
“Shocked would be an understatement,” Venema said. “I’ve been in law enforcement for 35 years, and I get very used to people being a little bit callous or maybe leaving the scene of an accident and not caring about someone who’s been hurt if they did so unintentionally. I was very shocked to hear that this was an intentional act.”
“I want to say in the strongest terms possible that there is no place in our community, or any community for that matter, for this type of hatred or violence,” Venema told KCCI. “We are committed to stand by and support this family and work diligently with them to seek justice.”
Franklin reportedly made derogatory remarks about Latinos while speaking with investigators.
The hit-and-run victim was injured and later woke up in the snow, KCCI reported.
Franklin was also charged with assault after police said she used racist terms toward a clerk at a West Des Moines convenience store and threw items at the clerk around the time of the hit-and-run.
Franklin is being held on $1 million bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 30.