Pinkberry Co-Founder Arrested for Assaulting Homeless Man in Downtown Los Angeles


Pinkberry co-founder Young Lee was arrested on Tuesday, Jan. 17 on charges of beating a homeless Los Angeles man with a tire iron.

Arriving at Los Angeles International airport on an inbound flight from Korea, Lee was met by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Fugitive Warrants Task Force, who arrested him on a warrant. Lee is accused of chasing down the homeless man on June 15, 2011, after the man approached his car to beg for money. Lee and another individual then beat the beggar with a tire iron before returning to their car, according to police. The homeless man was hospitalized for his injuries.

The LAPD was able to obtain a warrant for Lee’s arrest after witnesses reported the incident, including the plates on Lee’s rented Range Rover, and identified him from a photo display. Lee is currently being held in Los Angeles on $60,000 bail.

“This case is emblematic of how the homeless are among the most vulnerable in our society,” said Lt. Paul Vernon in a statement. “Despite the challenges in the case, the detectives never gave up and eventually found the victim after leads took them to Skidrow and the local jail.”

Lee and fellow Pinkberry co-founder Hyekyung “Shelly” Hwang, both from Korea, have previously appeared in ads for American Express promoting their business. Since its 2005 launch in Los Angeles, Pinkberry has expanded into a global chain.

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