Roques call for increased charges vs. attacker in Asian hate crime

Steve Angeles ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 20 2022 09:17 AM

As Nicholas Weber, the man caught on tape attacking a Filipino family in a fast food parking lot, appeared in court on Friday morning (US time), the community came back in full force. 

Weber, who remains in custody, faces one felony battery count and one misdemeanor battery count both with hate crime enhancements.

However, the community is pressuring the district attorney's office to modify the misdemeanor battery charge into a felony count. 

"Not only will it add a lot more years to the defendant, but it will serve as proof that there was sufficient evidence to increase the misdemeanor to a felony because I was there. I was the one witnessing the entire thing," victim Patricia Roque said.

During the brief hearing, Weber’s next court date was set for September 30.

The family spoke to deputy district attorney Paul Kim, who assured the Roques they are investigating the evidence to see if the battery charge could be enhanced to a felony. But in the meantime, the sentencing is at a felony level. 

Kim told the family that they would meet in the coming weeks, and any modifications to the charges could be reflected for the next court date. 

"We're just trying to find out so we can make a really informed decision whether the initial filing fairly and accurately reflects what happened in this case," he said.

While the Roques go through the legal system, their story is also getting national attention. 

This past week, they were on a Hollywood lot to film a major TV talk show. 

Their supporters sat in with the audience during the taping. 

The episode is expected to air in several weeks, giving them an even bigger platform to talk about anti-Asian hate. 

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