The Iowa woman who has admitted that she intentionally ran over a young teen girl with her SUV because she was “Mexican” also struck a 12-year-old black boy just minutes earlier, police said.
Nicole Marie Poole Franklin, 42, was charged on Friday with attempted murder after allegedly using her Jeep Grand Cherokee to strike 14-year-old Natalia Miranda, who was on a sidewalk near her middle school at around 5 p.m. on Dec. 9. Franklin “ran the girl over” and fled the scene, police have said.
But on Monday night, Franklin was charged with a second count of attempted murder after police determined that, before striking Miranda, she had tried to run down a 12-year-old black boy with her SUV, The Des Moines Register reported.
Witnesses reportedly told police that Franklin accelerated before hitting the boy, who was reported to have suffered minor injuries in the incident near a Des Moines apartment complex. Sgt. Paul Parizek, of the Des Moines police, told the newspaper that the boy’s race, combined with the other incidents, have led police to believe Franklin was attacked him with “hate-filled motivation.”
About an hour after Miranda was hit, police arrested Franklin at a Conoco gas station, where she had allegedly stolen merchandise and called employees and customers racial and ethnic slurs.
Part of the episode at the gas station was caught on video by a customer, and the footage shows a woman who appears to be Franklin saying, “You’re a fucking n-----.” Before she leaves with a police officer, Franklin can be heard saying to customers and employees of color, “Someone’s coming for you guys.”
Officers also reported that she admitted smoking methamphetamine within five hours of the gas station incident, according to KCCI-TV.
“Franklin told investigators that she ran the girl over because she was, in her words, ‘a Mexican,’” Clive Police Chief Michael Venema said in a press conference last week. “She went on to make a number of derogatory statements about Latinos to the investigators.”
“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 said. “We are committed to stand by and support this family and work diligently with them to seek justice.”
Miranda suffered “numerous” serious injuries and spent several days at a hospital before she was able to return to school a week later. She told KCCI-TV that she remembers the vehicle coming toward her but cannot recall being hit.
“I was in the hospital and I tried moving, and I couldn’t get out of my bed,” said Miranda. “Sitting up was the worst pain I've ever felt.”
Police have said Franklin will likely face a felony hate-crime charge in addition to the two attempted murder charges. Authorities also charged her with violation of individual rights, theft, public intoxication, and possession of a controlled substance.
Public records show that Franklin had an extensive criminal history before these alleged events, beginning in the mid-1990s through present day. Her record includes multiple convictions for theft, escape of misdemeanant from custody, tampering with a witness or juror, misdemeanor assault, and operating a vehicle while under the influence, among other charges.
She was still booked in at the Polk County Jail on Tuesday in lieu of a $1 million-plus cash bail.