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Pinkberry co-founder sentenced to 7 years for beating panhandler

Pinkberry co-founder Young Lee is seen in court in this undated file photo.

March 14, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
Pinkberry co-founder Young Lee was sentenced on Friday to seven years in prison without parole for beating a homeless man with a tire iron in 2011.

The 49-year-old, who no longer has ties to the frozen yogurt chain, was found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon in November 2013. Jurors also found him guilty of causing great bodily injury, and the judge declared him to be a significant threat to the community.

According to prosecutors, Lee confronted Daniel Bolding on June 15, 2011 near the Vermont Avenue off-ramp of the 101 Freeway after the homeless man flashed a sexually explicit tattoo to several people in Lee's car, including his wife.

Lee initially drove away, but came back a short time later with another man who had been in the car. Lee chased Bolding down and ordered him to apologize and kneel on the ground. Even after Bolding complied, Lee beat him anyway, leaving the man with numerous injuries.

The jury did not buy Lee's claim that the transient threatened him as if he had a weapon.

Bolding suffered a broken forearm and several cuts to his head before Good Samaritans intervened and stopped the attack.

A restitution hearing has been scheduled for May 14.