ANGELS – Leaders of various Filipino immigrant support groups gathered in Van Nuys on Friday to support a family who were attacked and racially slurred during a drive-thru in North Hollywood last month.
The group, including the Filipino Migrant Center, the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns and Migrant Los Angeles, were joined at the rally by members of the Roque family and their attorneys, who called for the alleged abuser to be prosecuted in as much as possible.
According to the family, Nerissa Roque, 47, and Patricia Roque, 19, were waiting in the drive-thru of a McDonald’s restaurant in mid-May when their vehicle was hit from behind by another car. The other driver, uttering anti-Asian slurs, eventually got out of his vehicle and approached the women, threatening to “kill” them, according to the family.
The women called the police and, while awaiting their arrival, Nerissa Roque’s husband, Gabriel Roque, 62, arrived at the scene. The motorist – identified as Nicholas Weber, 31 – then attacked Nerissa and Gabriel in a physical altercation which left Gabriel Roque injured, including a broken rib, according to the family.
RELATED: Family attacked at fast food drive-thru in North Hollywood; The suspect made threats, used insults
Much of the encounter was captured on cellphone video.
“It was the most traumatic experience of our lives. I feared the suspect would kill us because of our appearance, because we are Asian,” Patricia Roque said in a statement. “We demand a full investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department and demand that this matter be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
According to the district attorney’s office, Weber was charged with one count of aggravated battery and a misdemeanor count of battery, both counts including a hate crime allegation.
Weber, who was not in custody, was scheduled for arraignment on June 8 but failed to appear, prompting a judge to issue a warrant for his arrest, according to the district attorney’s office.
A family attorney told FOX 11 the alleged attacker was a neighbor of the family in North Hollywood.
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