LOS ANGELES - Leaders of various Filipino immigrant-support groups rallied in Van Nuys Friday in support of a family who were attacked and subjected to racial slurs at a North Hollywood drive-thru last month.
The group, including the Filipino Migrant Center, the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns and Migrante Los Angeles, were joined at the rally by members of the Roque family and their attorneys, who called for the alleged assailant to be prosecuted to the full extent 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 struck 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 police, and while waiting for them to arrive, Nerissa Roque's husband, 62-year-old Gabriel Roque, arrived at the scene. The motorist -- identified as 31-year-old Nicholas Weber -- then attacked Nerissa and Gabriel in a physical altercation that left Gabriel Roque with injuries including a broken rib, according to the family.
Much of the encounter was captured on cell phone video.
"This was the most traumatic experience of our lives. I feared that the suspect would kill us because of what we looked like -- because we are Asian," Patricia Roque said in a statement. "We are demanding a full investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department and demand that this case be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
According to the District Attorney's Office, Weber was charged a felony count of battery with serious bodily injury and a misdemeanor account of battery, with both charges including a hate-crime allegation.
Weber, who was out of custody, was scheduled to be arraigned June 8, but failed to appear, prompting a judge to issue a bench warrant for his arrest, according to the District Attorney's Office.
An attorney for the family told FOX 11 the alleged assailant is a neighbor of the family in North Hollywood.