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Pinkberry Co-Founder Sentenced to Seven Years Prison

Pinkberry Co-Founder Sentenced to Seven Years Prison



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Young Lee was sentenced to a maximum sentence of seven years for his 2011 attack on a homeless man

Young Lee, Pinkberry's co-founder who is no longer affiliated with the company, was sentenced to seven years prison for assault.

On Friday, March 14th, Pinkberry yogurt chain co-founder Young Lee was sentenced to a maximum of seven years prison for his 2011 assault of a homeless man.

“A jury found Young Lee, 49, guilty in the June 2011 attack on Donald Bolding,” reported the Los Angeles Times. “Bolding flashed a tattoo of a stick-figure couple having sex to the people in Lee's car, which included his fiancée.”

Lee and an accomplice later found Bolding and beat him with a tire iron. Bolding suffered a broken left forearm and several cuts to the head.

In November 2013, a jury convicted Lee of assault with a deadly weapon, and he was ordered to remain in jail without bail until his sentencing because he was found by a Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge to be a "significant threat to the community" after threatening David Lee, a key witness.

"Do you remember the moment when David Lee stood on the witness stand and told us he'd been threatened?" Deputy District Attorney Bobby Zoumberakis asked the jury during closing arguments, according to the LA Times. "'I'm going to cut the throat of your mother, your wife, your daughter, and you.' And remember how the air left the room because you could tell how scared David Lee was?"

Lee, who opened the first Pinkberry with Shelly Hwang in West Hollywood in 2005, is no longer affiliated with the company.

Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.


Pinkberry Co-Founder Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison for Tire Iron Attack

By Jonathan Lloyd and Samantha Tata &bull Published March 14, 2014 &bull Updated on March 14, 2014 at 1:06 pm

The co-founder of frozen yogurt chain Pinkberry was sentenced to seven years in prison Friday for using a tire iron to beat a homeless man on a Los Angeles freeway exit ramp in what the judge called a savage and merciless attack.

Young Lee – who is no longer involved with the frozen yogurt company -- was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in November in an attack prosecutors said was sparked by the victim's sexually explicit stick-figure tattoo. The attack occurred in June 2011 near the Vermont Avenue exit ramp from the 101 Freeway.

The victim was changing his sweatshirt before the attack, exposing the tattoo as Lee arrived in a sport utility vehicle, according to court documents.

Lee, 49, parked the SUV on Vermont Avenue, grabbed a tire iron and continued arguing with the man, court documents said. The man -- Lee accused him of disrespecting him by flashing the tattoo -- suffered a concussion and broken arm, his attorney said.

During a 2012 preliminary hearing, Donald Bolding said he was panhandling on the ramp when he saw a man approach with a tire iron and demand an apology.

"It was a bad day. I was assaulted," he said at the hearing. "I'm befuddled. I'm like, 'What are you talking about?' That's when he hits me with the tire iron."


Pinkberry co-founder gets 7 years for beating homeless man

The co-founder of frozen yogurt chain Pinkberry was sentenced Friday to a maximum seven years in prison for beating a panhandling homeless man with a tire iron.

A jury found Young Lee, 49, guilty in the June 2011 attack on Donald Bolding. Bolding flashed a tattoo of a stick-figure couple having sex to the people in Lee's car, which included his fiancee. Lee drove away, then returned to the East Hollywood street with another man who'd been in the car. He then beat Bolding, who suffered a broken left forearm and several cuts to the head.

After the jury returned the verdict in November, he was ordered jailed without bail by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Henry Hall, who declared him a "significant threat to the community" because he had threatened a witness in the case.

During the trial, the prosecutor reminded the jury of the threat to the witness, David Lee.

"Do you remember the moment when David Lee stood on the witness stand and told us he'd been threatened?" Deputy Dist. Atty. Bobby Zoumberakis asked the jury Wednesday during closing arguments. "'I'm going to cut the throat of your mother, your wife, your daughter and you.' And remember how the air left the room because you could tell how scared David Lee was?"

Young Lee helped found Pinkberry in 2005, but is no longer involved with the company.


Pinkberry yogurt chain co-founder gets seven years in beating case

By Dan Whitcomb LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A co-founder of the Pinkberry frozen yogurt chain who was convicted last year of beating a homeless man with a tire iron over a tattoo he considered disrespectful was sentenced on Friday to seven years in prison. Young Lee, a 49-year-old South Korean kick boxer-turned-architect who parted ways with Pinkberry in 2010, was convicted in November of assault with a deadly weapon, along with special allegations that 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. Prosecutors say Donald Bolding was panhandling at a Los Angeles freeway off-ramp when he flashed a sexually explicit tattoo on his belly at Lee, his then-fiancee and another man in the couple's Range Rover. Lee drove away from the scene but returned a short time later, chased down the transient 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 say he threatened the man who was riding in the Range Rover to keep quiet about the incident. Along with his former wife, entrepreneur Shelly Hwang, Lee helped start Pinkberry in 2005 and was credited with bringing a sleek, modern architecture to the company that helped attract celebrities and hipsters alike to its locations. Pinkberry, a franchise business, spawned a number of frozen yogurt imitators. In 2001, Lee pleaded no contest to felony possession of cocaine and a misdemeanor charge of carrying a loaded firearm and was sentenced to two days in jail and three years of probation, according to prosecutors. (Reporting by Dan Whitcomb Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Chris Reese)

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Young Lee was sentenced Friday to seven years in prison without parole for beating a homeless man with a tire iron in 2011.

Judge Henry J. Hall was blunt when he addressed Pinkberry co-founder Young Lee in court Friday, calling his 2011 attack on a homeless man both “horrendous” and “fairly merciless.”

Lee, 49, was convicted last year of beating Ronald Bolding with a tire iron while Bolding was panhandling along an East Hollywood street. Hall handed Lee the maximum sentence of seven years in prison Friday, despite his attorney’s request that he be evaluated for possible probation.

“What this case boils down to at the end of the day, is nothing more or nothing less than a savage attack on a defenseless person,” Hall said.

Hall warned that had it not been for a group of citizens who intervened in the attack, “we might be here talking about a wholly different set of facts.”

Prosecutors said Bolding was panhandling by a 101 Freeway ramp when Lee pulled up in his Range Rover. Lee became angry when Bolding flashed a tattoo to people in the car -- including Lee’s fiancee and other women -- showing a stick-figure couple having sex.

Lee drove off but returned with another man and beat Bolding. Prosecutors said Lee felt “disrespected” by Bolding, which prompted the attack.

The other attacker has not been identified, prosecutors said, and is believed to be in Korea.

Bolding suffered a broken left arm and several cuts to the head, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. He has filed a personal injury lawsuit against Lee, seeking damages for the attack.

Lee also allegedly threatened a witness. Deputy Dist. Atty. Bobby Zoumberakis said Friday there were no plans to continue to investigate that threat in order to file charges.

His attorney, Phillip Kent Cohen, had asked Hall for an evaluation to determine whether Lee’s case was legally considered “unusual” enough to warrant probation rather than prison time. Cohen said the evaluation would not be “condoning anything, but trying to get a better understanding of the switch that turned on.”

Cameron Keys, described as a longtime friend of Lee’s, told the judge Lee had been homeless about a decade ago while he battled drug and alcohol addictions. Since his recovery, Keys said, Lee was “thoughtful, serious” and “dedicated to his friends and family.”

Lee’s wife, Jieun Kim, wiped her eyes as she spoke to the judge through a translator.

“It hurts me deeply when my child, who just started speaking, asks for his dad,” she said. “I beg you to not separate our family, to keep our family together.”

Lee, dressed in an orange, jail-issued jumpsuit, stared ahead as the judge delivered his sentence. Though he helped found the frozen yogurt company in 2005, he is no longer involved with Pinkberry.

Outside the courtroom, Bolding’s attorney said the decision “wasn’t a surprise.”

“It’s unfortunate when somebody goes to prison, but it was probably well-deserved here,” Gary Casselman said. “Not probably. It was well-deserved.”

Zoumberakis called the sentence “absolutely justified based on the conduct.” He also said that given the brutality of the beating, it was lucky a few good Samaritans intervened.

“If it wasn’t for those good people, this would have been a murder case,” he said. “I have no doubt in my mind.”

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Pinkberry Co-Founder Sentenced to 7 Years for Beating Homeless Man

On Friday, Young Lee, a co-founder of frozen yogurt company Pinkberry, was sentenced to seven years in state prison for beating a homeless man with a tire iron.

Last November, a jury found Lee guilty of attacking Donald Bolding with a tire iron in June 2011. From the Los Angeles Times:

Pinkberry Co-Founder Convicted of Beating Homeless Man With Tire Iron

Young Lee, a co-founder of frozen yogurt company Pinkberry, was found guilty on Friday of beating a …

Bolding flashed a tattoo of a stick-figure couple having sex to the people in Lee's car, which included his fiancee. Lee drove away, then returned to the East Hollywood street with another man whoɽ been in the car. He then beat Bolding, who suffered a broken left forearm and several cuts to the head.

After he was convicted, a judge ordered Lee to remain in jail without bail until his sentencing, in part because Lee threatened David Lee (no relation), one of the state's key witnesses.

"Do you remember the moment when David Lee stood on the witness stand and told us heɽ been threatened?" Deputy Dist. Atty. Bobby Zoumberakis asked the jury during closing arguments, according to the Los Angeles Times. "'I'm going to cut the throat of your mother, your wife, your daughter and you.' And remember how the air left the room because you could tell how scared David Lee was?"


Pinkberry Co-Founder Gets 7 Years In Prison For Beating Homeless Man With Tire Iron

Young Lee, the co-founder of popular frozen yogurt chain Pinkberry, will be spending the better part of the next decade in prison. A judge sentenced him to seven years behind bars today for beating up a homeless man with a tire iron.Lee was with his fiancee in his SUV on the Vermont Avenue offramp of the 101 in June of 2011 when he became enraged by a sexually explicit tattoo that Donald Bolding had. Bolding was panhandling on the side of the road at the time.

Lee apparently felt disrespected by the very sight of the tattoo, so he parked his SUV, walked over to Bolding and struck him twice in the head with a tire iron, screaming, "Apologize, you showed disrespect," City News Service reports. Witnesses actually had to stop Lee from beating Bolding further. Bolding suffered a broken arm and a concussion in the attack.

"I'm befuddled. I'm like, 'What are you talking about?' That's when he hits me with the tire iron," Bolding said, who also claimed that Lee tried to force him get down on his hands and knees to apologize, CNS says.


Pinkberry co-founder gets 7 years for tire iron beating

A co-founder of the Pinkberry frozen yogurt chain who was convicted last year of beating a homeless man with a tire iron over a tattoo he considered disrespectful was sentenced on Friday to seven years in prison.

Young Lee, a 49-year-old South Korean kick boxer-turned-architect who parted ways with Pinkberry in 2010, was convicted in November of assault with a deadly weapon, along with special allegations that 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.

Prosecutors say Donald Bolding was panhandling at a Los Angeles freeway off-ramp when he flashed a sexually explicit tattoo on his belly at Lee, his then-fiancee and another man in the couple’s Range Rover.

Lee drove away from the scene but returned a short time later, chased down the transient 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 say he threatened the man who was riding in the Range Rover to keep quiet about the incident.

Along with his former wife, entrepreneur Shelly Hwang, Lee helped start Pinkberry in 2005 and was credited with bringing a sleek, modern architecture to the company that helped attract celebrities and hipsters alike to its locations.

Pinkberry, a franchise business, spawned a number of frozen yogurt imitators.

In 2001, Lee pleaded no contest to felony possession of cocaine and a misdemeanor charge of carrying a loaded firearm and was sentenced to two days in jail and three years of probation, according to prosecutors.


Pinkberry Co-Founder Sentenced To 7 Years In Prison

Young Lee, a co-founder of the frozen yogurt chain Pinkberry, was sentenced to seven years behind bars Friday for beating a homeless man.

"Last November, a jury convicted 49-year-old Young Lee of beating a homeless man with a tire iron in Los Angeles. The incident happened in 2011." (Via WCSC)

During the trial last year, prosecutors said the attack occurred because of a sexually-explicit tattoo the victim incidentally flashed to Lee and his then-fiance.

KABC says the homeless man, who they identify as Daniel Bolding, was taking off a sweatshirt, exposing the tattoo to Lee who was driving by. Prosecutors said Lee returned later with another man, grabbed a tire iron and demanded an apology.

KNBC reports Lee ordered Bolding to get on the ground and then beat him with the tire iron, breaking the man's forearm and giving him several cuts to the head.

At some point, passersby stepped in, stopped Lee and wrote down his license plate which they later provided to investigators.

According to New York Daily News, Lee fled to South Korea following the attack. But he was taken into custody when he returned to the States at the beginning of 2012.

During the trial, Daily Mail says Lee's attorney stated Bolding threatened his client and that Lee wasn't the one holding the tire iron it was the other man whom police still have not identified or located.

Lee was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and a judge ordered him to remain in jail until sentencing because he allegedly threatened one of the witnesses for the prosecution.

KPHO says Lee remained quiet and quote "didn't show much attention" when the judge handed down the seven-year prison sentence Friday.

KTBS notes the deputy district attorney was thrilled that the judge imposed the maximum penalty, while, not surprisingly, Lee's attorney disagreed.

"There was nothing less than that that was warranted for this senseless act and this type of violent beating."


Pinkberry Co-founder sentenced to 7 years for beating transient

FILE-This Jan. 30, 2012 file photo shows Lee Young, one of the former founders of the Pinkberry yogurt chain stands with his attorney Philip Kent Cohen, right, during his arraignment in the Los Angeles Criminal Courts Building in Los Angeles. Lee has been convicted, Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, of assault with a deadly weapon for striking a transient with a tire iron. Lee was sentenced Friday March 14, 2014, to seven years in prison for beating a homeless man with a tire iron in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Al Seib, Pool,File)

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A co-founder of the Pinkberry yogurt chain was sentenced today to seven years in prison for beating a transient with a tire iron on a Hollywood (101) Freeway off-ramp, with the judge calling it “a savage attack.”

Lee Young — a South Korea native and architect who is no longer associated with Pinkberry — was convicted Nov. 8 of assault with a deadly weapon along with an allegation of great bodily injury, for the June 15, 2011, attack on Donald Bolding.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Henry J. Hall imposed the maximum term on Lee, calling it “a savage attack on a defenseless person with a tire iron” who was protected from further injury by others who came to his aid and called 911.

“Those people are the heroes in this case as far as I’m concerned,” the judge said.

The judge said the attack was motivated by Lee “feeling disrespected by Mr. Bolding.”

Authorities said Lee confronted Bolding because he believed the transient had disrespected him by exposing a tattoo of two stick figures engaged in sexual activity.

The judge noted that Lee drove at least 100 yards down the road before pulling out the tire iron from the car and coming back with a companion to confront Bolding, who was panhandling on the Vermont Avenue off-ramp of the Hollywood Freeway. “It has nothing to do with self-defense,” Hall said.

Saying that the maximum sentence was “justified,” Deputy District Attorney Bobby Zoumberakis told the judge that Lee chased the victim through traffic in broad daylight. After the hearing, the prosecutor said Lee struck the victim with a tire iron and his companion — who has not been identified — punched and kicked the victim.

Defense attorney Philip Kent Cohen unsuccessfully asked the judge for a 90-day diagnostic examination in which Lee would have been evaluated by the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to determine if his 49-year-old client was suitable for probation.

Cohen said he believed that the case had been presented “as one of rich versus poor or one of ‘have’ versus ‘have not.’”

“I don’t think that could be farther from the truth,” Lee’s attorney said. Through an interpreter, Lee’s wife, Kim Jieun, begged the judge, “Do not separate our family. Keep our family together.”

A longtime friend of Lee’s described him as “thoughtful,” “serious”and a “valuable citizen,” and said a prison sentence for Lee would “only compound this tragedy.”

But the judge denied probation for Lee, citing the “horrendous nature of the attack” that left the victim with a broken arm and head injuries.

Bolding has filed a civil lawsuit against Lee.

Lee, a former kick-boxer, co-founded Pinkberry with then-wife Shelly Hwang in 2005. He is no longer involved with the company, its partners or its more than 170 stores worldwide.

Pinkberry formally ended his ties with him in May 2010, according to the company.

Lee will have to serve 85 percent of the prison sentence, the prosecutor said. The judge gave Lee credit for 150 days he has already served behind bars.

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