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Iowa woman said she ran over a 14-year-old girl because ‘she was Mexican,’ police say

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(CNN) – An Iowa woman was charged with attempted murder after running over a 14-year-old girl, saying she did it because the teenager "was Mexican," police said.

Nicole Marie Poole Franklin, 42, was arrested on other charges and on Thursday admitted to Clive police that she hit the girl with her vehicle on December 9, according to a press release from the Clive Police Department. Clive is about 9 kilometers from Des Moines.

The girl was walking towards Indian Hills Junior High when a vehicle arrived on the sidewalk, ran over her and left the place, according to the statement.

"I don't remember the impact, I just remember that the car came to me," the girl told KCCI-TV, a CNN affiliate. He added that he was going to a basketball game. "I didn't do anything, I'm just a girl walking to a basketball game."

Authorities say the girl was able to return to school a week after the incident, according to WOI-TV, affiliate of CNN. CNN does not name the girl because she is a minor.

During her interview with the detectives, Poole Franklin, a resident of Des Moines, said she was the driver and intentionally hit the girl because "she was Mexican," police said. Poole Franklin "made a series of derogatory statements about Latinos," police said.

Poole Franklin was charged with assault in a separate incident on December 9 after police said he used racist terms towards an employee and customers in a West Des Moines store and threw items at the employee, KCCI reported. This incident took place about an hour and a half after the coup and the escape.

Authorities are analyzing whether what Poole Franklin did in running over the girl was a hate crime, Clive police chief Michael Venema said. during a press conference.

"We will present all that information to prosecutors and, ultimately, they will make the decision on what crimes to prosecute," said Venema.

The Polk County Court Clerk's office told CNN that Poole Franklin does not currently have a lawyer.

Venema said in the statement that the victim's family requests privacy.

"There is no place in our community (or any other) for this kind of hate and violence," said Venema. "We are committed to supporting the victim and (his family) and working diligently with them to seek justice."

Charge documents say that Poole Franklin is expected to appear at a preliminary hearing on December 30.

. (tagsToTranslate) Hate crime (t) Discrimination

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