By Phyllis Stark. CREATED Mar 15, 2014
Young Lee, the co-founder of the popular Pinkberry frozen yogurt chain, has been sentenced to seven years in prison for beating a homeless man with a tire iron in 2011 because he felt “disrespected.”
Judge Henry Hall addressed Lee in court Friday and called the attack "horrendous" and "fairly merciless,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
Lee, 49, had been convicted last year for beating Ronald Bolding in East Hollywood, Calif.
“Prosecutors said Bolding was panhandling by a 101 Freeway ramp when Lee pulled up in his Range Rover,” the Times reports. “Lee became angry when Bolding flashed a tattoo to people in the car -- including Lee's fiancee and other women -- showing a stick-figure couple having sex. Lee drove off but returned with another man and beat Bolding.” The attack continued until a group of citizens intervened. Lee also allegedly threatened a witness.
Bolding reportedly suffered a broken arm and several cuts to the head. The Times reports he has filed a personal injury lawsuit against Lee, seeking damages for the attack.
The other assailant, who is believed to now be in Korea, has not been identified.
Surprisingly, Lee himself was once homeless. “Cameron Keys, described as a longtime friend of Lee's, told the judge Lee had been homeless about a decade ago while he battled drug and alcohol addictions,” the Times reports.
At Lee’s sentencing Friday, the judge handed down the maximum sentence, saying, “”What this case boils down to at the end of the day is nothing more or nothing less than a savage attack on a defenseless person.”
Lee co-founded the yogurt company in 2005 but is reportedly no longer involved with Pinkberry.