Ronnell T. Hughes, the victim of what police are calling a hate crime that occurred at the Pilot Travel Center on East Idaho Avenue on Dec. 21. (Nikita Apodaca/Special to the Enterprise)

ONTARIO – Mackey’s Steakhouse and Pub, Rusty’s Lounge along with Kanpai raised almost $5,000 on New Year’s Eve for Ronnell T. Hughes, the victim of what police called a hate crime Dec. 21.

Hughes was stabbed in the neck multiple times by a truck driver from Colorado as he sat alone at a booth inside of the Arby’s restaurant at the Pilot Travel Center on East Idaho Avenue.

Mackey’s raised $1,800 from sales on New Year’s Eve, while Rusty’s and Kanpai both collected $500 in donations each, Angie Grove, co-owner of Mackey’s said.

Grove said the turnout at the fundraiser was testament to the power of the community, and its repudiation of the attack.

“There is always so much negative, but there is also tons of positive out there and I really wanted to bring that to light,” Grove said.

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Grove said that the restaurant was fully staffed that night, but became so busy more help was needed.

“I slept until noon the next day,” Grove said laughing.

In addition, $900 was raised from the silent auction held at the restaurant on New Year’s Eve, and $1,200 was collected in cash donations from the gofundme account set up for the fundraiser.

Hughes was hospitalized following the attack, but is now at home recovering.

The attacker, Nolan L. Strauss is lodged at the Malheur County Jail awaiting his plea hearing, which is set Friday, Jan. 10, at 8:15 a.m.

Last month, Strauss was indicted by the Malheur County grand jury for second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault, first-degree bias crime, and unlawful use of a weapon.

Judge Erin Landis will preside over Strauss’ plea hearing on Friday.

News tip? Contact reporter Joe Siess: [email protected] or 541-473-3377.

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