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Pinkberry co-founder arrested on assault allegation

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 7:14 PM EST, Tue January 17, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Young Lee is accused of beating a homeless man with a tire iron
  • He is released on $60,000 bail
  • If convicted, Lee faces up to seven years in prison
  • Pinkberry says he no longer has any involvement with the company

Los Angeles (CNN) -- A co-founder of the Pinkberry frozen yogurt franchise has been arrested and is accused of beating a homeless man with a tire iron near downtown Los Angeles, authorities said Tuesday.

Young Lee, 47, is charged with one felony count of assault with a deadly weapon, with a special allegation that the assault caused great bodily injury, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office said. The homeless man suffered a broken arm and several cuts to his head.

If found guilty, Lee, who was convicted of possession of a controlled substance and carrying a loaded firearm in 2001 faces up to seven years in prison. He was released on $60,000 bail, the district attorney's office said.

It was not clear Tuesday whether Lee had retained an attorney, and CNN could not immediately find a contact number for him.

The alleged attack happened on June 15.

According to prosecutors, Lee thought the homeless man had disrespected him by exposing a sexually explicit tattoo. He parked his car near an off ramp, gave chase, and beat the victim on his head and arm, they said.

An unidentified second suspect was allegedly with Lee at the time of the attack.

After Lee's arrest, Pinkberry released a statement in which it said he no longer has any involvement with the company, and hasn't since May 2010.

"He has no influence or input into the company in any way, and the parties have not been in communication with one another since Mr. Lee's exit. While it would be inappropriate for us to speculate on the allegations in question, we can say without hesitation that Pinkberry values the communities we serve and stands against acts of violence of any kind, especially those involving the most vulnerable among us," it said.

Lee is scheduled to be arraigned on February 6.

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