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Colorado man pleaded guilty to hate crime for stabbing Black man at Arby's in Eastern Oregon

According to court documents, Nolan Strauss, 27, stabbed a Black man who was sitting at a booth by himself at an Arby's in Ontario, Oregon.
Police lights.

ONTARIO, Ore. — A Colorado man pleaded guilty on Thursday to a federal hate crime for stabbing a Black man at an Arby's restaurant in Oregon. 

The attack happened on Dec. 21, 2019. According to court documents, Nolan Strauss, 27, stabbed a Black man who was sitting at a booth by himself at an Arby's in Ontario, Oregon. The victim had a pending job application and he was waiting to meet with the restaurant manager when he was stabbed twice in the neck.

A maintenance worker intervened and asked Strauss to drop the knife several times, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Oregon. The maintenance worker used a belt to tie Strauss' hands behind his back before police arrived. 

The victim was life-flighted to a hospital in Boise, Idaho for emergency surgery.

Federal prosecutors said the maintenance worker asked Strauss why he stabbed the victim. According to federal prosecutors, Strauss said "because he was Black, and I don't like Black people."

Police arrested Strauss. He later admitted to police he was trying to kill the man because he was Black.

On Sept. 17, 2020, a federal grand jury in Eugene indicted Strauss with a hate crime involving an attempt to kill. He pleaded guilty on Thursday.

Strauss faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. He will be sentenced on September 9.

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