A woman has been charged with attempted murder after telling police in Iowa that she deliberately drove into a girl because she appeared “Mexican”.
The victim, who is 14, sustained “numerous injuries” in the incident.
Police say she was struck while walking to a local school, near Des Moines, on the evening of 9 December.
They initially appealed for the public’s help in identifying the hit-and-run before Nicole Marie Poole Franklin was arrested.
“Investigators determined that this incident was an intentional act, not an accident,” Clive police said in a Thursday statement announcing the attempted murder charge.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Police Chief Michael Venema said he was “shocked” by the suspect’s admission.
“Franklin told investigators that she ran the girl over because she was, in her words, ‘a Mexican’,” Chief Venema said. “She went on to make a number of derogatory statements about Latinos to our investigators.”
“I want to say, in the strongest terms possible, that there is no place in our community, or any other for that matter, for this type of hatred and violence,” he added.
The 42-year-old was already being held in a jail over a separate assault allegedly committed the same day, police said.
Police have set the bail amount for the attempted murder charge at $1m (£770,000) and say they are looking into the possibility of filing hate-crime charges.
The victim suffered concussion and severe bruising but has since returned to school, AP reports.