December 9, 2019 was a busy day for Nicole Franklin Poole. Poole, who was first involved in what authorities are saying was a racist hit-and-run, then went on to run over another teen and destroy a convenience store. On Monday Poole was charged with attempted murder for the intentional hit-and-run of a 12-year-old boy with her SUV at about 3:54 p.m. local time. At another location, around 4:20 p.m. local time, she also hit another child with her vehicle. Later that day she attempted to steal from a Conoco gas station and was charged with assault in violation of individual rights and with operating under the influence, second offense.
During her first offense of the day, Poole reportedly drove off the roadway, traveled onto a sidewalk to intentionally hit a 12-year-old boy who was walking in an apartment complex in Des Moines, Iowa. The boy suffered minor injuries. Poole then fled the scene of the accident. While the boy was not named due to his age, police have confirmed the boy is also a minority, saying he is black.
About an hour later, police report that Poole committed a second hit-and-run in Clive, Iowa, about 9 miles from Des Moines, when she once again drove onto a sidewalk, striking 14-year-old Natalia Miranda, seriously injuring the teen. In a statement from Clive Police, it is said that Poole admitted to running Natalia over because she thought she was “Mexican.”
Miranda, who was walking to her school, Indian Hills Junior High, to attend a basketball game, suffered a concussion and severe bruising that left her hospitalized for two days and missing a week of school. Miranda says she did not remember actual impact from the SUV, but did remember the vehicle coming at her and then waking up in the snow. She said, “I didn’t do anything, I’m just a girl just walking to a basketball game.” Police reported that Poole made several derogatory racial slurs about Latinos during her interview with police after her arrest.
At a Conoco gas station about an hour and a half after the second hit and run, Poole entered a convenience store, and attempted to steal items from the store. When confronted by a clerk, Poole began yelling racial slurs and throwing merchandise at the male clerk and other customers. A customer reported that when he was at the register checking out, he saw Poole throwing potato chips and destroying store merchandise and putting an ice cream cone in her pocket. Witnesses said that Poole appeared to be under the influence of some substance, and Poole later admitted to Police that she had recently smoked methamphetamine.
Authorities have announced that there will be an inquiry as to whether Poole’s charges should be considered hate crimes, according to Clive Police Chief Michael Venema. Ultimately the prosecutors will make that determination. Along with attempted murder, Poole will be charged with assault, theft, consumption, intoxication and possession of illegal substances. Poole, who is being held on a $1 million bond is expected to appear for a preliminary hearing on December 30th.