Truck driver faces hate crime charge for Oregon truck stop stabbing

A truck driver has been indicted on federal charges related to the stabbing of a black man at a truck stop restaurant late last year.

On September 17, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that 26 year old Colorado-based truck driver Nolan Levi Strauss had been indicted on one count of hate crime involving an attempt to kill.

The charge stems from an attack that occurred on December 21, 2019, at an Arby’s restaurant adjacent to the Pilot Travel Center in Ontario, Oregon as a 48 year old Ronnell Hughes waited for a manager to approve documents for a job application.

The DOJ described the attack on Hughes:

Unprovoked and without warning, Strauss approached [Hughes] from behind and stabbed him in the neck. Following a struggle for the knife, [Hughes] freed himself and Strauss was detained by store employees. When asked by the store employee why he attacked [Hughes], Strauss stated he did so because the man “was Black, and I don’t like Black people.”

Hughes suffered two lacerations to the neck and was life-flighted to the hospital for emergency surgery.

Strauss is set to make his initial appearance in federal court on October 19, 2020.

If convicted, Strauss faces up to life in prison.