Pinkberry Founder Arrested in Brutal Homeless Attack

By Andrew Chow, Esq. on January 19, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

California businessman Young Lee made a name for himself serving frozen yogurt. Now the co-founder of Pinkberry may have to serve prison time, after he was arrested for a brutal attack on a homeless man.

Police and FBI agents arrested Lee, 47, at Los Angeles International Airport after he returned from a trip to his native South Korea, Los Angeles' KNBC-TV reports. Lee is being held in lieu of $60,000 bail.

A warrant had been issued for Lee's arrest on charges of assault with a deadly weapon. The alleged attack took place in June, and involved a defenseless homeless panhandler.

In the alleged Pinkberry homeless attack, Young Lee exchanged words with the homeless man at a freeway off-ramp in downtown L.A., the New York Daily News reports. The homeless man flashed a sexually provocative tattoo in Lee's direction, police said.

Lee and another man chased down and beat the homeless man, witnesses told police. Lee allegedly used a tire iron in the attack, according to the Daily News.

The alleged victim "made explicit threats as if he had a weapon," Lee's lawyer told the Los Angeles Times, adding, "All of this will be flushed out in court."

Lee now faces aggravated assault charges. In his defense, Lee could try to argue he was acting in self-defense, or in defense of another person. For those defenses to work, Lee would have to show he did not provoke the situation.

The alleged Pinkberry homeless attack is not the first criminal charge for Young Lee. He was convicted of possession of a controlled substance and carrying a loaded firearm in 2001, according to the Daily News.

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