NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (KTLA) — An Asian American family is demanding justice after a man used racial slurs and attacked them in a caught-on-video incident last month in California.
The man was cited and released, but failed to show up for a scheduled court appearance in Van Nuys Friday. The incident unfolded when the Roque family was in a NoHo McDonald’s drive-thru.
The driver behind them in line apparently bumped their car, and later pulled up alongside them. They recorded him making racial slurs, mocking them, and they say he threatened to kill them.
Video shared with WFXR’s sister station, KTLA, shows the man saying “You’re so Asian” in an exaggerated accent.
Eventually, Gabriel Roque stepped in when the stranger tried to open the front door of the family’s car.
Things escalated into a physical altercation between the two men, and the victim’s wife, Nerissa Roque, was also attacked. She said the man choked her and she fell to the ground.
“I thought, ‘I’m gonna die,’” Nerissa said.
Their daughter said she was left traumatized by the violent encounter.
“I see every man on the street, I still think it’s him,” Patricia Roque told KTLA. “I may not have been physically assaulted, but the mental and emotional trauma that he has brought to me might as well have been physical.”
Witnesses jumped in to help, giving the Roque family a chance to get away.
The man, identified as Nicholas Weber, was eventually cited with the promise to appear in court at a later date, said the family’s attorney, Sandy Roxas.
The Roque family, along with community members, stood outside the Van Nuys courthouse Friday demanding a full investigation into the incident. They are left wondering why Weber wasn’t arrested the night of the altercation.
“He should be apprehended for what he has done to me and my family, this is unacceptable,” Patricia said. “And to think that he’s still roaming the streets, with no care in the world, I just find it really hard to accept.”
Court records show Weber was facing battery charges before he failed to appear in court.
A bench warrant has been issued for his arrest, and his bail is now set at $250,000.
Weber has a prior arrest for burglary in Alameda County, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.