After several delays, the man caught on video verbally and physically assaulting a Filipino family in North Hollywood, California last month appeared in court on Monday afternoon.
Nicholas Weber did not enter a plea for the hate crime and battery charges he is facing from his May 13th attack on the Roque family at a fast-food parking lot. Instead, the public defenders asked for a continuance to July 11th, wherein he will be assigned to a public defender that specializes in hate crimes. The 31-year-old is also expected to have a bail hearing on the same day and may then enter his plea.
With the Roque family and their supporters in the courtroom, Weber appeared behind a door, not visible to the public, as the public defenders and prosecutors addressed the judge.
Victim Patricia Roque said, "it's kind of exhilarating to see him again in person even if I didn’t recognize him at first but then I realize there’s nothing to be afraid of about this. He’s in custody; the case is still ongoing. We're still in this. This is not the end. This is just the beginning."
As the Roque family waited for Weber to appear in court, they delivered a letter to the district attorney’s office on Monday morning, along with their advocates from the Filipino community.
"It expresses how many organizations are concerned with what happened to the Roques and it really pushes to ensure swift justice for the family," Katie Joaquin of the Filipino Migrant Center noted.
They were assured that the case is being closely watched by the district attorney's office, and they will be meeting with the prosecutors dealing with the case this week.
"With the help of communities and the letters we are sending in person and online to their respective emails, hopefully they can see that and know that we really want to pursue this case and we can’t stand back and wait because I think we’ve waited long enough," Patricia said.
While the July 11th hearing will determine a bail amount for Weber, who has a lengthy criminal record, he will stay behind bars at least until that date.