(KTLA) – The man who was caught on video attacking an Asian American family at a McDonald’s drive-thru in Southern California has been charged with a hate crime, officials announced this week.
Nicholas Weber, 31, of Sylmar, California, faces one felony count of battery with serious bodily injury and one misdemeanor count of battery, along with a hate crime allegation, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
The charges stem from a May 13 incident in which a family was attacked while waiting in line to order at a McDonald’s drive-thru in North Hollywood.
Weber allegedly hit the back of the family’s vehicle and “proceeded to yell racial insults” at the family, the DA’s office said in a news release.
Video shared with KTLA showed Weber saying “You’re so Asian” in an exaggerated accent after pulling alongside a car occupied by Nerissa Roque and her daughter Patricia.
The Roques called police, as well as Nerissa’s husband (and Patricia’s father) Gabriel. Things then escalated into a physical altercation between the two men. Nerissa Roque was also attacked.
She said Weber choked her and she fell to the ground.
“I thought, ‘I’m gonna die,’” Nerissa Roque said.
Weber was cited and released after the incident.
The Roque family and community members demanded justice outside the Van Nuys courthouse last week where Weber was scheduled to appear, but he failed to show.
A bench warrant was issued for his arrest, and this week, he was taken into custody in Orange County for an unrelated matter and held on the warrant, officials said.
The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.
“The unprovoked assault on members of our community is wrong and will not be tolerated,” District Attorney George Gascón said in the news release. “Our message against violence and racial hatred must be loud and clear. We will hold accountable the people who commit hate crimes in Los Angeles County.”