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Man repeatedly stabbed in the neck in Ontario, police suspect it was a hate crime

Ontario Police said, "The motive for the attack leans heavily towards a racially motivated crime."

ONTARIO, Ore. — A 48-year-old African-American man was attacked and stabbed repeatedly in while visiting an Arby's in Ontario while looking for a job, according to the Ontario Police Department. Police suspect that the attack was a hate crime.

The stabbing happened at the Arby's and Pilot truck stop in Ontario at about 9:40 a.m. Saturday, according to police.

Officials say the victim was Ronnel Hughes, who is believed to have just recently moved to Ontario from North Carolina. Hughes was found at the scene by police with multiple stab wounds to the neck area.

When police arrived at the scene, several Arby's employees were holding back the suspect, who was later identified as 26-year-old Nolan Strauss of Nebraska. Strauss, who is white, is believed to be a truck driver for the May Trucking Company.

Officers say that the investigation found that Hughes was sitting down at the Arby's and was attacked by Strauss without provocation or warning. Strauss attacked Hughes with a knife and Hughes attempted to fend off the attack. Several of the Arby's employees then stepped in and subdued Strauss. No employees were injured in the attack.

Police say there's no evidence that Hughes and Strauss knew each other or spoke before the attack.

Hughes is now stable condition at an Idaho hospital. Police did not state which hospital.

The investigation is still ongoing, with the Ontario Police Department, Oregon State Police, and the Malheur County Sheriff's Office all involved, but police say "the motive for the attack leans heavily towards a racially-motivated crime."

Strauss is now in the Malheur County Jail and will likely be charged with assault, bias crime, and attempted murder.

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