Des Moines, IA – An Iowa woman told police she intentionally ran down a young girl with her car because she “is Mexican.”
The incident occurred at about 5 p.m. on Dec. 9 as 14-year-old Natalia Miranda was walking down the sidewalk on her way to her junior high school, the Des Moines Register reported.
Miranda was struck by a vehicle and suffered numerous injuries but the driver did not stop at the scene.
An hour after she ran over Miranda, Franklin was involved in another incident at a nearby gas station where she was accused of using racial slurs.
A witness said he saw Franklin throwing potato chips, destroying merchandise, and calling people names, according to the Des Moines Register.
The gas station’s owner, Waheed Abdul, said that his surveillance video showed that Franklin targeted his brother and used racial slurs while talking to him.
Abdul said footage showed that Franklin stayed in the gas station for more than 20 minutes verbally assaulting them, the Des Moines Register reported.
He said that some of the store’s customers stayed with his brother out of concern that Franklin would try to assault him if they left.
Court records showed she was arrested and charged with assault, operating under the influence, theft, and public intoxication in that incident.
Police talked to witnesses and used surveillance video to identify the driver of the 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee that struck the girl as 42-year-old Nicole Franklin, according to the Des Moines Register.
Clive Police Chief Michael Venema told reporters at a press conference on Friday morning that Franklin had admitted that she smoked methamphetamine hours before she intentionally hit Miranda.
Chief Venema said Franklin told investigators that she ran the child down because she thought the girl “is Mexican,” the Des Moines Register reported.
She has been charged with attempted murder for her vehicular attack on Miranda.
Outraged community members have called for Franklin to be charge with a hate crime and authorities told the Des Moines Register that the possibility hasn’t been ruled out.
Franklin’s bail has been set at $1 million.
This is not the first time that Franklin has been in trouble with the law, the Des Moines Register reported.
Court records showed that Franklin was charged with harassment and domestic abuse assault for biting her boyfriend and throwing an object that hit the back of his head in February of 2018.