A man has admitted to assaulting a black man during an unprovoked attack at an Arby’s restaurant in Ontario. The suspect pleaded guilty on Thursday, according to federal officials.
What are the details?
Nolan Levi Strauss, 27, pleaded guilty to a hate crime following an assault that took place in 2019. The man faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
The assault happened in December 2019 at an Arby’s restaurant within the Pilot Travel Center in Ontario, Oregon.
A 48-year-old black man had just come inside the restaurant to provide documentation for a job application, as the U.S. Department of Justice has stated.
Strauss went inside the restaurant too and got closer to the black man. The victim was sitting in a booth by himself and had his back turned to Strauss, the officials revealed.
“Suddenly, unprovoked and without warning” Strauss attacked the man, the Department of Justice said. “The man tried to grab Strauss’s hands and take the knife, and, in the process, managed to prevent Strauss” from hurting him again.
The victim escaped the defendant’s grip and fell on the other side of the restaurant.
One of the maintenance workers on the scene told Strauss to drop the knife and tied his hands behind his back until the police arrived, federal officials stated.
When the worker asked him why he had attacked the man, Strauss answered, “because he was black, and I don’t like black people.”
After being taken into custody, he allegedly kept saying that he had assaulted the man “because he was black.”
The victim was taken to a hospital in Boise, Idaho. He received emergency treatment for the injuries while there.
Scott Erik Asphaug, acting U.S. attorney for the District of Oregon, emphasized that this incident is a “reminder that racism and bigotry still exist.”
“Everyone deserves to go to work without fearing they will be a victim of violence because of how they look or how they live. Racist attacks like this one, powered by hate and grounded in ignorance, strike at the heart of our community. We should all draw strength from our diversity and work together to protect our neighbors,” Kieran L. Ramsey, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon, added according to Yahoo News.
Strauss will be sentenced on September 9 for the Ontario assault.