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Colorado truck driver accused of stabbing Black man in Oregon charged with hate crime

Nolan Strauss, 26, is accused of stabbing Ronnell Hughes, 48, in Oregon last December.
Credit: Thinkstock

PORTLAND, Oregon — A Colorado Springs truck driver accused of the unprovoked stabbing of a Black man in Oregon has been charged with a hate crime. 

According to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice, a federal grand jury in Portland has returned a one-count indictment charging Nolan Levi Strauss, 26, with a hate crime involving an intent to kill.

The release said on the morning of Dec. 21, 2019, a 48-year-old Black man, identified in previous reports as Ronnell Hughes, arrived at an Arby's restaurant adjoining the Pilot Travel Center in Ontario, Oregon, where he planned to provide documentation for a job application. Hughes sat in the lobby of the restaurant while waiting for the manager.

The release said unprovoked and without warning, Strauss approached Hughes from behind and stabbed him in the neck. After a struggle for the knife, according to the release, Hughes freed himself and Strauss was detained by store employees.

When asked by a store employee why he attacked Hughes, according to the release, Strauss said he did it because Hughes “was Black, and I don’t like Black people.” 

The release said Hughes suffered two cuts to his neck and was flown to Boise, Idaho for emergency surgery.

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Strauss will make his first appearance in federal court on Oct. 19, according to the release. If he is convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.



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