The Filipino American family who was threatened and physically attacked by a man at a McDonald’s drive-thru in North Hollywood, California, last month will seek an extraction order on their assailant.
Patricia Roque, 19, expressed her frustration at her family’s ongoing case against Nicholas Weber, who faces hate crime charges, as he refused to attend his arraignment for the third time.
“It’s very frustrating,” Patricia told migrant rights advocate Xenia Tupas on June 24. “How long do we have to wait to get a solid confirmation on anything? This is Weber’s third refusal.”
“I know we’re putting enough pressure, but it’s very difficult to get that pressure to the right authorities so they could hear what the people and what my family want in this case,” she added.
Weber, who is currently in police custody, refused to leave his cell for the arraignment. The hearing has not been pushed through due to his absence, according to a joint statement by the Filipino Migrant Center, the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) and Migrante Los Angeles.
An arrest warrant was issued after Weber did not appear in court on June 8. He was arrested in Orange County on June 16 and charged with battery causing serious bodily injury and misdemeanor battery, both with hate crime enhancements.
The 31-year-old suspect was filmed harassing and assaulting the Roque family at a McDonald’s drive-thru on Victory Boulevard in North Hollywood on May 13. Weber reportedly rear-ended the family’s car before telling Patricia and her mother, Nerissa, that they were “so Asian.” Weber allegedly used racial slurs and threatened to kill them in a mock Asian accent.
The verbal attack became physical when Weber tried to open their car door to get to Patricia but was stopped by her father Gabriel, who arrived at the scene minutes after being called by Patricia. The 60-year-old father was punched to the ground and suffered a broken rib from the attack. Nerissa was allegedly choked while trying to stop Weber.
Activists rallied outside the Van Nuys District Attorney’s Office on June 17 to demand justice for the family. Dozens of supporters called for officials to investigate the case in-depth and prosecute Weber for committing a hate crime.
Patricia called District Attorney George Gascon’s claim of being in close contact with the family “an exaggeration.”
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“He’s got his information wrong. If he’s trying to appease the people, appease my family for his own political and personal gain, then he might as well should’ve looked up the background of our case first before giving out any statement that was obviously false,” Patricia said. “He said that the incident occurred 10 days ago when in fact, it has been more than a month since the incident happened.”
“He also mentioned that he’s in close contact with the family. No,” she added. “I think he’s only contacted my parents once, but that doesn’t equate to close contact. And not only that, we’re not even hearing anything from the defense attorneys and from him.”