03/17/2014 03:09 pm ET Updated Mar 17, 2014

Pinkberry Co-Founder Who Beat Panhandler Was Once Homeless


The co-founder of Pinkberry, who was sentenced on Friday for beating a panhandler, was homeless for a period of time, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Young Lee, 49, was found guilty in November of severely beating Daniel Bolding, a homeless man, with a tire iron back in 2011. Despite pleas from supporters, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Henry J. Hall handed down the maximum sentence of seven years in prison, according to the paper.

Lee’s friend Cameron Keys told the judge that Lee had been homeless about a decade ago when he was addicted to drugs and alcohol. Since his recovery, Keys told the judge that Lee -- who is no longer affiliated with Pinkberry -- was "thoughtful, serious" and "dedicated to his friends and family."

The judge said the case demonstrated a "high degree of cruelty."

Back in June 2011, Lee confronted Bolding, who had been panhandling near to a 101 Freeway ramp at Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles, after Bolding exposed a lewd tattoo, according to KABC.

At first, Lee drove away from the scene, but then returned later with another man, KABC reported. Lee chased down Bolding, and then ordered him to apologize and kneel on the ground. Bolding adhered to the orders, but Lee still beat him, leaving him with a broken arm and several cuts to the head, according to the news outlet.

Witnesses eventually stepped in and helped to put a stop to the attack.