Woman who says she hit teen who looked 'Mexican' with car charged with hate crime

An Iowa woman who is facing an attempted murder charge stemming from a hit-and-run incident was charged Sunday with a hate crime in a separate incident police said happened the same day.

West Des Moines police announced the new charge against Nicole Poole Franklin, 42, who reportedly told investigators she hit the teen because she was "a Mexican."

Police said Franklin was shouting racial slurs at a store owner and customer at a Conoco gas station on Dec. 9. Franklin was arrested at the gas station at 5:13 p.m. local time and charged with assault for allegedly throwing items at the store clerk, police said.


The hit-and-run that injured a 14-year-old girl occurred at 4:20 p.m. the same day, but police at the time had not yet identified Franklin as the alleged driver, USA Today reported.

Investigators later determined the hit-and-run was intentional after Franklin said she hit the teen because she was “a Mexican,” KCCI, a local CBS affiliate reported last week. Franklin also reportedly made derogatory remarks about Latinos while speaking with investigators.

She faces an attempted murder charge but not a hate crime in the hit-and-run, according to USA Today.

Franklin remains in jail with bond set at $1 million. She is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 30.