On the first anniversary of the attack on the Rock family, they met with supporters at a McDonald’s restaurant in North Hollywood, the site of the incident. For the family members, they are still trying to recover from the emotional wounds that the attack inflicted on them.
“It’s the first time we’re here again in the same place,” said Patricia Roque. “We have tried to stay away from this place because of the trauma it has caused us, and at one point, we have tried to avoid anything resembling this establishment for a long time. But as time goes on Gone, we learned to fix.
On May 13, 2022, Patricia and her mother, Nerissa, were waiting at the drive-thru when they were rear-ended. The other driver, Nicholas Weber, drove alongside them, shouted racial slurs, and drove off. He returned and threatened to kill her.
The two call 911 and Patricia’s father, Gabriel, arrives before the police. The family said that Gabriel was pushed to the ground by Webber, who broke his ribs. Weber then wrapped his arms around Nerissa’s neck. A bystander helped subdue the assailant before police arrived.
Weber was charged with two felony hate crime enhancements, but those enhancements were later withdrawn at a preliminary hearing on April 17. Weber pleaded not guilty to one of the charges on May 1. Weber’s next court date is May 26.
During the meeting last Saturday, Roux talked about the handling of her case and how difficult it has been for her from the beginning: It seemed like the police wanted to ignore what happened and she felt let down by the court.
Ysabel Roque spoke first. She said she and her family are “shocked” that the attack is not being charged as a hate crime.
“It just shows that the justice system really isn’t giving enough justice to people like us who want justice,” Ysabel said.
“It’s been a roller coaster for everybody. … We’ll keep fighting for everybody who’s going through the same thing, who’s fighting for the same thing. And as much as we hope this incident is the last What we can do is prevent future incidents from happening.”
His sister Patricia described how difficult it had been to be around the place where he had been assaulted, reliving the trauma of the day every time they passed by. However, he added that the campaign to bring justice to his family remains strong. He helped establish the Pilipino Youth Collective (PYK), a new student youth organization at CSUN that campaigns for the rights of Filipinos in the San Fernando Valley.
“It’s one of the things I can do to give back to the community that has supported my family throughout this year,” Patricia said, “and to highlight that this is not something where We live It happens very closely, it happens with your neighbors, it happens with people you know, with people who are on the streets, people who look like us.
“It’s unfortunate, but it’s one of the [pocas] What can we do as young people to stop things from happening?
Gabriel further said that the attack changed the way the family looked at things and interacted with others.
Gabriel said, “From my point of view, the wounds have healed, but have not yet healed after the incident.” “Without community, I think it’s another [habría] The reasons for the way it is being handled from the beginning by the authorities have gone by the wayside.
“It was very clear from the events throughout this year that there is a lack of interest in seeking justice.”
He lamented the slow court process that has seen the case drag on for over a year, adding that he is “frustrated”. He said his family is not seeking monetary compensation, but justice, not only for themselves but for others in similar circumstances.
However, Gabriel expressed his gratitude to the community members and organizations who rallied around the family and supported them.
Gabriel said, “I thank the community for helping us and others to bring all of this to life and make us aware of the importance of supporting the community in their activities.”
Nerissa also expressed her dismay at the court’s decision to remove the hate crime enhancement, which is denying the family the justice they seek. Still, he hasn’t lost hope.
“From the day it happened and until now, it hasn’t been easy for me and it hasn’t been easy for my family, especially you and [aquellos] who have supported my family since day one,” Nerissa said. “But I just know that our fight is your fight. We still don’t lose hope. As long as the community is here for me and my family, Until then we are going to fight.”
Patrick Roque, a community organizer in expatriate Los Angeles, recalled when he first heard about the incident. While resting at a boba shop, his sister Patricia calls him and tells him what happened.
Patrick said, “Initially I couldn’t believe what had happened, especially now that hate crimes are on the rise.” “That night was a very heavy night, and this exact parking spot marked me because at that very moment, as with any hate crime, someone could have been killed instantly.”
Patrick also said that the police were discouraging his family from pursuing the case. “Throughout this case, we have learned and experienced how the justice system treats immigrants and workers like my family. We were dehumanized and not accommodated when they testified in court.