Pinkberry Co-founder Gets Seven Years in PrisonBy: Kathy Karadza - March 15, 2014
A co-founder of the Pinkberry frozen yogurt chain who was convicted last year of beating a Los Angeles homeless man with a tire iron over a tattoo he considered disrespectful was sentenced on Friday to seven years in prison.
Young Lee, 49, was sentenced to the maximum term for the June 2011 assault of Daniel Bolding, 44, who was panhandling at the Vermont exit near the U.S. 101 freeway in Hollywood.
Lee, a South Korean kickboxer-turned architect who parted ways with Pinkberry in 2010, was convicted by a jury in November 2013 with assault with a deadly weapon, along with allegations he caused great bodily injuries to his victim.
A spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Lee was sentenced to the maximum of four years in prison for the assault, with an additional three years for the special allegations.
Lee may also be ordered to pay restitution to the victim, who suffered a broken forearm and cuts to his head in the June 2011 attack, prosecutors said.
Lee claimed Bolding flashed a sexually-themed tattoo, a stick-figure couple having sex, to Lee’s fiancee and another man who was in Lee’s Range Rover.
Bolding testified that he was begging from drivers when his shirt rode up and revealed his tattoo, which is on his belly.
Lee drove away from the scene but returned a short time later, chased down Bolding and beat him with a tire iron before several people intervened, Deputy District Attorney Bobby Zoumberakis said in a statement.
Lee left the country following the attack, but was arrested when he returned in January 2012. Prosecutors said Lee threatened the man who was riding in the Range Rover to keep quiet about the incident.
Lee co-founded Pinkberry with his former wife, entrepreneur Shelly Hwang. The two opened the first Pinkberry frozen yogurt store in West Hollywood in 2005. The franchise chain became hugely popular, drawing celebrities and long lines.
Lee is no longer affiliated with the Pinkberry chain.
Image via Wikimedia Commons