Suspect arrested in North Hollywood attack against Asia

Authorities announced Wednesday that a man suspected of involvement in an anti-Asian attack on a Filipino family in North Hollywood last month is back in Los Angeles County custody after failing to appear in court.

Police arrested Nicholas Webber, 31, after the May 13 attack and issued a warrant with instructions to appear in court on June 8.

But Webber did not attend.

He was charged with a felony battery causing serious bodily injury and a misdemeanor battery. Court records show that both charges bolstered hate crimes.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday that Webber was arrested this week for “unrelated reasons in Orange County and is being held under a warrant.”

Ricardo Santiago, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office, said Costa Mesa police had detained Webber but did not specify what day or in connection with the crime.

“Unjustifiable assault on members of our community is wrong and will not be tolerated” Dist. came. George Gascon said. Our message against violence and racial hatred must be loud and clear. We will hold people who commit hate crimes to account in Los Angeles County.”

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

Screen capture from video taken by Patricia Roque showing a man who yelled at her and her mother, Nerissa, before Nerissa and her husband were attacked in a McDonald’s parking lot.

(Patricia Rock)

The May 13 incident began after Webber claimed that Nerissa and Patricia Roque were from behind in a McDonald’s car on Victory Boulevard.

At first, the mother and daughter thought it was a hit and run because the SUV driver pulled out of class, but drove to the side of their car and started screaming.

“Oh. He yelled in a tone that seemed to influence some kind of Asian accent.” “Yeah, you are very Asian.”

The encounter was captured in a series of videos taken by Patricia, 19, which were provided to The Times on Friday.

In one of the videos, the man tried to get into the family car while Patricia was sitting in the passenger seat of the car, closing and closing the door moments before pulling the knob.

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

A video full of curses shows the man pushing Gabriel, who is falling onto a concrete parking lot, and landing on top of him.

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

Sandy Roxas, a lawyer for the Rock family, said Gabriel was taken to hospital with broken ribs and bruises on his left arm.

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

The Rocky family organized a demonstration outside the prosecutor’s office in the Van Nuys branch earlier that day in an effort to raise awareness of their case and advocate for justice.

Nerissa and Patricia said their family was traumatized by the attack but that they received support from the community.

People holding signs that say

Patricia Rock, right, and her father, Gabriel, center, attend the rally in Van Nuys on Friday, when Webber was still at large.

(John Haas)

According to Los Angeles County court records, Webber has several recent arrests and convictions, including driving under the influence, probation violations and violating a restraining order.

In 2012, he was sentenced to two years in state and 180 days in county jail, to be served respectively, after he did not appeal a dispute in the DUI case, according to court records.

In addition to the Rocky family case, Webber faces criminal charges of petty theft and public intoxication in a separate case, according to the records. This case was filed on June 10 in connection with the May 31 incident.

“While it will take time for the Rock family and community to heal, Webber’s arrest is one step toward bringing judges to the Rock family,” Roxas said.

The lawyer said she and her colleagues are relieved that Webber is being held but know that this is not the end of their fight.

“Weber has long waited for a response to his actions, and we hope this is a message not only to victims of Asian hate crimes, but to people who incite violence against our community,” Roxas said. “Exerting pressure on law enforcement is fundamental to the fight for justice, and I thank them for finally arresting Webber.”

It was not clear Wednesday whether Webber had a lawyer.

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