Pinkberry co-founder faces up to 7 years for beating homeless man

Young Lee, a co-founder of Pinkberry, in court last year.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Pinkberry co-founder Young Lee faces up to seven years in prison after a jury found him guilty of beating a homeless man with a tire iron.

Lee was convicted Friday and ordered to jail without bail after a judge declared him a “significant threat to the community” because he threatened a witness--a man named David Lee--in his trial.

In closing arguments Wednesday, Deputy Dist. Atty. Bobby Zoumberakis reminded the jury of the threat.

“Do you remember the moment when David Lee stood on the witness stand and told us he’d been threatened?” Zoumberakis asked the jury. “‘I’m going to cut the throat of your mother, your wife, your daughter and you.’ And remember how the air left the room because you could tell how scared David Lee was?”


Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Henry Hall said Young Lee, 49, must stay in custody without bail until his sentencing in January.

The jury of six men and six women found Lee guilty of beating the homeless man, Donald Bolding, with a tire iron after Bolding flashed a tattoo of a stick figure couple having sex to the people in Lee’s car, which included his fiancee.

Lee drove away, but then returned with another man who was in the car and beat Bolding.

Zoumberakis, who described the evidence in the case as “overwhelming,” said: “I think there was a sense of entitlement felt by the defendant to the point where, he felt he was disrespected by someone he believed to be below him.”


Bolding suffered a broken left forearm and several cuts to the head during the attack in June 2011, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Lee -- who helped found Pinkberry in 2005 but is no longer involved with the company -- faces a maximum of seven years in state prison.

Bolding has also filed a personal injury lawsuit against Lee seeking damages for the attack. Zoumberakis showed pictures of a bloody Bolding to the jury.



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Twitter: @James_Barragan