An arrest warrant has been issued for the man who threatened and physically attacked a Filipino family at a fast food drive-thru in North Hollywood, California.
Nicholas Weber, 31, was ordered to appear in court on June 8 after he made racist remarks and physically attacked Gabriel Roque and his family at a McDonald’s drive-thru on Victory Boulevard at around 10 p.m. on May 13. However, he did not show up to court, leading to a warrant for his arrest.
Weber was reportedly taken to the hospital after the incident and was released by the police on the same night of the incident. He now faces felony and misdemeanor battery hate crime charges.
“Because the defendant was not detained, the family is still at risk, the community is at risk, the public is at risk,” Sandy Roxas, the counsel for the Roque family, told GMA News. “Because he is currently at-large which means he can be around the corner, he can be a danger to the community. We hope that law enforcement will take effort to locate and apprehend the defendant so that he’s accountable for his action.”
“Community support is vital in these types of cases,” Roxas added. “We saw this in the case of Torrance Karen how the community came together, rallied for the victims and showed so much support it actually pushed the case forward.”
Gabriel’s wife, Nerissa, and his daughter, Patricia, were ordering food when Weber’s vehicle rear-ended theirs. They called Gabriel to the scene for help after Weber used racial slurs and threatened to kill them in a mock Asian accent.
The suspect allegedly tried to open their car door to get to Patricia but was stopped by Gabriel, who he then punched to the ground. Nerissa was also assaulted when she tried to stop him. The 60-year-old father suffered from a broken rib.
“I may not have experienced the assault but seeing the image of my parents assaulted, it’s enough for me to deal with the trauma,” Patricia told ABS-CBN. “It scares me to think other people, they’re also victims that may not have gotten the justice they deserve. This is also a wake-up call for those victims that if we get the justice that we deserve, this doesn’t just go for us, this goes out to all of the victims to stand up and know they’re not alone in this.”
The Filipino Migrant Center, the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns and Migrante Los Angeles are supporting the Roque family in their case, and are calling for justice by organizing a community rally outside of the District Attorney’s office at 12 p.m. PST on Friday.