The man who reportedly harassed and attacked a Filipino family at a McDonald’s drive-thru in North Hollywood last month has been arrested and charged with hate crime enhancements.
Nicholas Weber, 31, was arrested in Orange County at around 7:40 p.m. on June 16, Costa Mesa Police Department spokesperson Roxi Fyad said in a statement. Authorities reportedly received a call about a man “possibly passed out on the sidewalk” and later identified him as Weber.
On Wednesday, authorities announced that Weber is back in custody in Los Angeles.
Weber, who was arrested on an outstanding felony assault warrant from the Los Angeles Police Department, is facing charges of felony battery causing serious bodily injury and misdemeanor battery, both with hate crime enhancements, court records reportedly show. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday.
“The unprovoked assault on members of our community is wrong and will not be tolerated,” L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement. “Our message against violence and racial hatred must be loud and clear. We will hold accountable the people who commit hate crimes in Los Angeles County.”
“While it will take time for the Roque family and the community to heal, Weber’s arrest is one step towards bringing justices for the Roques,” Sandy Roxas, the Roque family’s attorney, said.
“Weber having to answer for his actions is long overdue, and we hope that this is a message to not only the victims of Asian hate crimes, but to the people who incite violence against our community,” Roxas added. “Giving law enforcement pressure is key to fighting for justice, and I thank them for finally apprehending Weber.”
Weber was filmed harassing and assaulting a Filipino family ordering from a McDonald’s drive-thru on Victory Boulevard in North Hollywood on May 13. The suspect reportedly rear-ended Nerissa Roque’s car, told her and her daughter Patricia that they were "so Asian" and threatened to kill them.
The verbal altercation became physical when Weber allegedly assaulted Gabriel Roque, who arrived at the scene minutes after being called by Patricia. The 60-year-old father suffered a broken rib from the attack, and Nerissa was allegedly choked while trying to stop Weber.
Authorities took Weber into custody but released him on the same night of the incident. An arrest warrant was issued when he failed to appear in court on June 8.
Activists rallied behind the Roque family outside the Van Nuys District Attorney’s Office on June 17, demanding justice for the family and calling for officials to investigate and prosecute Weber for committing a hate crime.
“We’re here to hold the government accountable for their lack of response and to demand that District Attorney George Gascon prosecute Nicholas Weber to the fullest extent of the law,” Katie Joaquin, board president of the Filipino Migrant Center, said.
Los Angeles County court records revealed that Weber has several arrests and convictions, including one in which he pleaded no contest in a DUI case in 2012. For that, he received a two-year state prison sentence, as well as a 180-day county jail sentence.
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Aside from the charges in connection to the Roque family case, Weber is also facing petty theft and public intoxication charges for a separate incident, which occurred on May 31.
Featured Image via ABS-CBN News