LOS ANGELES – A man charged with a hate crime for allegedly attacking an Asian-American family at a North Hollywood drive-thru last month is currently in custody, authorities say.
Nicholas Weber, 31, of Sylmar was arrested this week, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday. Weber is accused of attacking the Roque family in a McDonald’s drive-thru lane in North Hollywood on May 13.
According to family representatives, Nerissa and Patricia Roque were waiting at the drive-thru when their car was hit from behind by Weber’s car. It was then that Weber allegedly got out of the car, approached the family, and began hurling anti-Asian slurs at them, telling them he was going to kill them.
FRONT COVER: Family attacked and racially slurred at North Hollywood drive-thru calls for full prosecution
As the family waited for the police to show up, another family member, Gabriel Roque, arrived to check on his wife and daughter. It was then that the family said Weber physically attacked Gabriel and Nerissa Roque before a bystander intervened to stop him. Gabriel Roque was hospitalized after suffering multiple injuries, including a broken rib.
“It was the most traumatic experience of our lives. I feared that the suspect would kill us because of our appearance, because we are Asian,” said Patricia Roque.
Weber was charged with one count of aggravated battery and one count of battery. He was due to be arrested on June 8, but did not appear in court, so an arrest warrant was issued against him. He was arrested earlier this week for an unrelated case in Orange County and is being held on warrant.
FRONT COVER: Family attacked at fast food drive-thru in North Hollywood; The suspect made threats, used insults
“Unprovoked aggression against members of our community is reprehensible and will not be tolerated,” District Attorney George Gascón said. “Our message against violence and racial hatred must be loud and clear. We will hold accountable those who commit hate crimes in Los Angeles County.”
The Los Angeles Police Department is still investigating this case.