Pinkberry Co-Founder Pleads Not Guilty in Assault Case

Young Lee, who opened the first yogurt chain on Huntley Drive in West Hollywood, pleads not guilty to allegedly attacking a homeless man.

The co-founder of Pinkberry pleaded not guilty Monday to attacking a homeless man with a tire iron along the Hollywood 101 Freeway.

Young Lee, a 47-year-old boxer-turned-architect, was by detectives with the LAPD's Fugitive Warrants Task Force, who were tasked with tracking him down in connection with the June 15 beating.

At Lee's arraignment Monday on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, a judge modified the terms of his $60,000 bail so he can make a trip to his native Korea later this month. Lee agreed to surrender his passport when he returns to court March 5 for a preliminary hearing setting.

Prosecutors allege Lee and a companion got out of the car he was driving on Vermont Avenue near the Hollywood Freeway offramp and confronted the homeless man, who was asking motorists for money, because Lee thought the transient had disrespected him by exposing a sexually explicit tattoo.

Lee allegedly used a tire iron to beat the man, who suffered a broken left forearm and several cuts to his head, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Witnesses provided police with the license plate of the vehicle, a Range Rover, which, police said, was rented in Lee's name. A tire iron was seized from the vehicle, according to police.

Lee faces up to seven years in prison if convicted. He founded the Pinkberry yogurt chain in 2005 with Hyekyung "Shelly" Hwang, also of Korea. The first Pinkberry location was on Huntley Drive in West Hollywood.

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Wendy February 01, 2012 at 01:14 AM
This man is a turd of the worst sort. The exact opposite that America wants to import. People like yourself think he is cool because he has established a liberal hangout. How can you lose your cool on a homeless American possiby a vet when you are an immigrant? Do you beat them down like dogs with pipes when they cannot fight back? He gives Koreans a bad name. And for you Lucas what kind of defense does he have when he is trying to evade justice and slide back into Korea to escape prosecution? Libs make me puke. Too bad you were not the victim so you could grow up.
Ali February 01, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Wendy, the judge is allowing him to go back to Korea for a visit without violating his bail. He is not trying to evade justice. Conservatives like you make me puke. You automatically assume the homeless person was a vet. It is obvious you know nothing about the Korean culture. Personally, I've never been to a Pinkberry. I don't like frozen yogurt, so I don't think he or Pinkberry is cool. And I don't "hang out" anywhere. Those days are long gone. "How can you lose your cool on a homeless American possiby a vet when you are an immigrant?" - wth does this mean? Do you mean that immigrants are never allowed to lose their tempers? DON'T YOU REALIZE THAT THIS COUNTRY WAS FOUNDED BY IMMIGRANTS? THAT MOST OF US HAVE GRANDPARENTS or other relatives THAT WERE IMMIGRANTS? Oh, he's not white...is that what you mean?
Wendy February 01, 2012 at 04:07 AM
I know a lot about Korean business culture. It has no credibilty. It also has no sympathy. The black people of Watts basically drove them out because they were disrespecting them so bad. 20 years ago a Korean store owner shot a 10 year old black girl because she was stealing a bag of potato chips. What kind of a loser like yourself thinks it is normal to lose your cool and go beat a homeless man with a tire iron when they ask you for a dime while you are driving a range rover. There is no excuse for that especially when you are immigrant. Funny how you guys all drive gas guzzling SUVs and do not do a dam thing for global warming. In your mind it is ok to lose your cool once in a while and beat them to a pulp so you can let off some steam. I think I have more compasion to the homeless than you do because I am sticking up for them. I could care less about immigrants who beat American homeless with tire irons. You sir make me puke.
Ali February 01, 2012 at 08:29 AM
There is no use attempting to have a conversation with you. You assume soo much. Never did I say what he did was ok. But you ALWAYS say things like "you guys all" and then put whatever drivel you want to. I NEVER SAID IT WAS OK TO BEAT ANYBODY. And I am a woman you idiot.
Lucas Junkin February 02, 2012 at 04:42 PM
You seem racist, innocent until proven guilty. Were you there that night? I wasn't there and I have seen any facts presented as of yet. You assume he is going to Korea to avoid justice. ASSUME


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