CRIME
11/07/2013 10:31 am ET Updated Nov 07, 2013

Pinkberry Founder Accused Of Assaulting Panhandler With Tire Iron To Learn His Fate

The co-founder of the Pinkberry frozen yogurt chain accused of pummeling a panhandler with a tire iron will soon learn his fate.

Young Lee, 48, is charged with assault with a deadly weapon for the June 2011 beating of homeless man Donald Bolding, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Prosecutors say that Lee became upset after Bolding displayed a tattoo portraying a stick-figure couple having sex to the people in Lee's car. The group continued on their way, but Lee and another man returned later to allegedly assault Bolding.

The case and its conflicting testimony boil down to one question: Who had the tire iron?

According to the LA Times:

In the initial police report, Cohen said, Bolding alleged that he was arguing with the driver, whom he identified as Lee. Bolding said the man in the passenger seat had the tire iron.

But during the trial, Bolding testified that Lee had beaten him with the tire iron. Bolding has also filed a personal injury lawsuit against Lee seeking damages for the attack.

Police arrested Lee on an outstanding warrant at Los Angeles International Airport in January 2013.

Lee's image is not as sweet as the dessert empire he co-founded. He has a misdemeanor firearm conviction on his record and, in 2001, was convicted of possession of narcotics.

When Lee's arrest put him and the yogurt company in the spotlight, Pinkberry's Senior Vice President of Marketing and Design Laura Jakobsen released a statement distancing Pinkberry from Lee.

"Mr. Young Lee has no involvement with Pinkberry, our partners or our more than 170 stores world-wide," Jakobsen said. Pinkberry ended its ties with Mr. Lee formally on May 1, 2010. He has no influence or input into the company in any way, and the parties have not been in communication with one another since Mr. Lee's exit."

If convicted, Lee faces a maximum of seven years in state prison.

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