Suspect in Anti-Asian Attack on Filipino Family in North Hollywood Arrested and Charged

A man suspected last month of an anti-Asian attack on a Filipino family in North Hollywood has been remanded to Los Angeles County after failing to appear for arraignment, authorities said Wednesday.

Nicholas Weber, 31, was detained by police after the May 13 attack and issued a subpoena with instructions to appear in court on June 8.

But Weber didn’t show up.

He was charged with felony battery which caused serious bodily harm and felony battery. Both counts also include improvements in hate crimes, court records show.

Weber was arrested in Orange County shortly after 7:40 p.m. on June 16, said Roxi Fyad, a spokesman for the Costa Mesa Police Department.

Costa Mesa police “responded to a call for help from a man who may have passed out on the sidewalk” and identified him as Weber, Fyad said. The officers arrested him based on an outstanding assault warrant from the Los Angeles Police Department.

It was not clear when LA County authorities were notified of Weber’s arrest in Costa Mesa or when he was transferred to Los Angeles custody.

He will be arraigned Thursday on the LA County charges.

“The unprovoked attack on members of our community is wrong and will not be tolerated,” said LA County Dist. atty. said George Gascon. “Our message against violence and racial hatred must be loud and clear. We will hold the people who commit hate crimes in Los Angeles County to account.”

A man in the driver's seat of an SUV yells out the window

A screenshot from a video taken by Patricia Roque shows a man yelling at her and her mother, Nerissa, before Nerissa and her husband were attacked in a parking lot at McDonald’s. (Patricia Roque)

The May 13 incident started after Weber reportedly rear-ended Nerissa and Patricia Roque at a McDonald’s drive-through on Victory Boulevard.

At first, the mother and daughter thought it was a hit and run because the SUV driver got out of the line, but he pulled up next to their vehicle and started screaming.

“Oh. You’re so Asian,” he yelled in a tone that seemed to have some sort of Asian accent. “Yeah, you’re so Asian.”

The encounter was captured in a series of videos shot by Patricia, 19, which were provided to The Times on Friday.

In one video, the man tries to get into the family’s car while Patricia, sitting in the passenger seat of the car, closes and locks the door just before pulling the handle.

At that point, the mother and daughter had called the police and Nerissa’s husband, 62-year-old Gabriel Roque, had arrived from the family’s home.

An expletive video shows the man giving Gabriel, who falls on a concrete parking block, a shove and lands on top of him.

After a bystander and Nerissa, 47, separate the man from Gabriel, another video captures a second attack. In a scene partly videotaped and described by Patricia and Nerissa, the man, with his back against a wall, grabs Nerissa by the throat.

Sandy Roxas, the lawyer for the Roque family, said Gabriel was taken to a hospital with broken ribs and a bruised left arm.

Police arrived about an hour after the initial confrontation, Nerissa and Patricia told The Times on Friday.

The Roque family held a meeting earlier that day outside the district attorney’s Van Nuys branch in an effort to raise awareness of their case and demand justice.

Nerissa and Patricia said their family was traumatized by the attack but supported by community support.

According to Los Angeles County court records, Weber has several recent arrests and convictions, including for drink-driving, probation violations and violating a restraining order.

In 2012, he was sentenced to two years in state prison and 180 days in county jail, serving consecutively, after pleading no contest in a DUI case, court records show.

In addition to the case involving the Roque family, Weber is facing criminal charges in a separate case for petty theft and public intoxication, the data shows. That case was filed on June 10 in connection with a May 31 incident.

“While it will take time for the Roque family and the community to heal, Weber’s arrest is a step toward justices for the Roques,” Roxas said.

The attorney said she and her clients are relieved that Weber is in custody, but knows that this is not the end of their fight.

“Weber has long been held accountable for his actions and we hope this sends a message not only to the victims of Asian hate crimes, but also to the people who incite violence against our community,” Roxas said. “Putting pressure on law enforcement is key to fighting for justice, and I thank them for finally apprehending Weber.”

It was unclear on Wednesday whether Weber had a lawyer.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times

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