Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Police in Clive, Iowa, say 42-year-old woman told them she intentionally hit a 14-year-old girl with her car Dec. 9 because of the girl's ethnicity.
According to a press release from the Clive Police Department, 42-year-old Nicole Poole Franklin was in custody for other charges when police linked her vehicle to the one used in the incident and interviewed her.
In that conversation, Franklin "not only admitted to being the driver of the car that hit this girl, but also she did intentionally. Franklin told the researchers that she ran over the girl because, in her words, the girl 'was a Mexican,'" the release said. "Then she made a series of derogatory statements about Latinos to researchers."
"I didn't do anything. I'm just a girl just walking to a basketball game," the girl told KCCI on Dec. 11. WOI-TV reported she has since been released from the hospital and been able to return to school.
Franklin now faces an attempted murder charge and a number of other charges from an incident that happened shortly after the girl was struck.
Police say at 5:15 p.m. -- less than an hour after the collision -- they were called to a gas station in West Des Moines where a woman was reportedly creating a disturbance and using racial slurs. Staff at the store said she attempted to steal ice cream and threw things at the store's co-owner while shouting racial slurs.
Franklin told police she had smoked methamphetamine before hitting the girl.
Community leaders in Iowa are calling for Franklin to be charged with a hate crime.
The teenager was walking on a sidewalk on her way to a junior in Clive when she was struck by an SUV and suffered several injuries. The driver did not stop to help her.
"I mean, in the most energetic terms possible, that there is no place in our community (or any other) for this kind of hatred and violence. We are committed to supporting the victim and his family and working diligently with them to seek justice," Clive Police Chief Michael G. Venema said in the statement.