Public Safety

Woman accused of racist attacks in Iowa competent for trial

She targeted kids with her car, police say

This undated file photo provided by the Polk County Jail shows Nicole Marie Poole. She has been found competent to stand
This undated file photo provided by the Polk County Jail shows Nicole Marie Poole. She has been found competent to stand trial on charges that she intentionally hit two kids with her vehicle in a racially motivated attack. (Polk County Jail via AP)

DES MOINES — A Des Moines woman accused of hate crimes after she allegedly intentionally hit two children with her vehicle because of their race has been ruled competent to stand trial.

Court documents indicate a psychiatric evaluation found Nicole Poole competent, KCRG reported.

Poole was charged with attempted murder and assault in violation of individual rights, and other offenses after she allegedly drove onto a sidewalk and hit a 14-year-old Hispanic girl near a suburban Des Moines school Dec. 9. She also is accused of driving over a curb and hitting a 12-year-old black boy the same day. Both children survived.

Poole was arrested the same day after she used racial epithets and threw items at a gas station in West Des Moines.

A judge in February found Poole incompetent for trial and ordered her to receive treatment.

A new hearing is scheduled for May 28.

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