A Colorado man pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal hate crime in connection to the December 2019 stabbing of a black man in a fast-food restaurant.
Nolan Levi Strauss, 27, reportedly walked into an Arby’s restaurant in Ontario, Oregon, and approached a man from behind, stabbing him twice in the neck unprovoked. Strauss allegedly admitted he attacked the man because of his race, according to court documents cited by the Justice Department.
“The defendant is being held accountable for his vicious, racially motivated attack on a black man who was targeted because of the color of his skin,” said Kristen Clarke, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
The stabbing victim suffered two lacerations to his neck and was life-flighted to an Idaho hospital for emergency surgery after the attack.
Strauss, who is white, was asked by a maintenance worker why he stabbed the man, to which he allegedly responded it was because he was black.
“Because he was black, and I don’t like black people,” Strauss reportedly said before his arrest.
Strauss will be sentenced Sept. 9 and could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.