Suspect in North Hollywood anti-Asian attack is arrested

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

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

But Weber didn’t show up.

He was charged with aggravated assault and assault. Both charges also involved hate crimes, court records show.

Weber was “arrested on an unrelated matter in Orange County this week and is being held on warrant,” the LA County Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.

Ricardo Santiago, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, said Costa Mesa police took Weber into custody but did not specify the day or in relation to what crime.

“The unprovoked attack on members of our community is wrong and will not be tolerated,” Dist said. atty said George Gascon. “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.”

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

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

(Patricia Roque)

The May 13 incident began after Weber allegedly hit Nerissa and Patricia Roque from behind while driving through a McDonald’s on Victory Boulevard.

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

“Oh. You’re so Asian,” he yelled in a tone that seemed to have an Asian accent. “Yes, you’re so Asian.”

The encounter was captured in a series of videos taken by Patricia, 19, and made available to the Times on Friday.

In one video, the man attempts to get into the family car while Patricia, who is in the car’s passenger seat, closes and latches the door just before he pulls the handle.

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

A video with expletives shows the man pushing Gabriel, who falls into a concrete parking garage, and landing on him.

After a bystander and Nerissa, 47, separated the man from Gabriel, another video shows a second attack. In one scene, partially captured on video and described by Patricia and Nerissa, the man with his back against a wall grabs Nerissa by the throat.

Sandy Roxas, the Roque family’s lawyer, said Gabriel was taken to hospital with broken ribs and an injured left arm.

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

The Roque family held a rally outside the Van Nuys District Attorney’s Office earlier that day to raise awareness of their case and demand justice.

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

People holding signs reading'The united people will never be defeated' and'Gascon! Prosecute Weber now

Patricia Roque (right) and her father Gabriel (centre) attend the rally in Van Nuys on Friday when Weber was still at large.

(Johannes Haas)

According to Los Angeles County court records, Weber was recently arrested and convicted on multiple counts, including driving under the influence of alcohol, violating probation and violating a restraining order.

In 2012, he was sentenced to two years in state prison and 180 days in county jail, to be served consecutively, after failing to contest a DUI case, court filings show.

In addition to the Roque family case, Weber faces criminal charges of petty theft and public intoxication in another case, the files show. This case was filed on June 10 in connection with a May 31 incident.

“While the Roque family and community will take time to recover, Weber’s arrest is a step toward bringing justice to the Roques,” Roxas said.

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

“Weber’s accountability for his actions is long overdue 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 the fight for justice and I thank them for finally arresting Weber.”

It was unclear on Wednesday whether Weber had a lawyer. Suspect in North Hollywood anti-Asian attack is arrested

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