Pinkberry Yogurt co-founder, Young Lee, sued over alleged beating of homeless man

Young Lee in court Monday
Pool,AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, AL Seib
Young Lee, co-founder of Pinkberry frozen yogurt
Pool, AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Al Seib
(CBS) LOS ANGELES - Young Lee, one of the co-founders of the Pinkberry frozen yogurt chain, is being sued for his alleged beating of a homeless man with a tire iron, after Lee saw the man with a sexually-explicit tattoo.

The nine-page suit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court against Young Lee by Donald Bolding, who is described in the court papers as a "homeless transient and beggar," CBS Los Angeles reports.

Bolding, who alleges assault, battery, negligence and civil rights violations, is seeking unspecified damages.

The 47-year-old Lee previously was charged with assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the alleged attack against Bolding last June 15 on an off ramp of the Hollywood Freeway.

CBS Los Angeles reports that according to Tuesday's civil filing, Lee was stopped at a traffic light when he saw Bolding "changing into or out of a sweatshirt and his bare torso revealed a sexually explicit tattoo, which apparently angered Lee."

Bolding "posed no danger to Mr. Lee or anyone," the suit states. Lee, upset about the tattoo, began arguing with Bolding, then parked his sport-utility vehicle, took out a tire iron and demanded that Bolding kneel and apologize, the suit alleges. "Lee then attacked (Bolding) anyway, chasing him and kicking him, and beating him down with the tire iron," the plaintiff's suit says.

Eyewitnesses called 911 and gave authorities the license plate number of the SUV that Lee was driving, and he was later apprehended at Los Angeles International Airport, according to the suit.

Bolding suffered a broken arm and cuts on one arm, according to the suit. He is currently serving time for a non-violent drug offense.

Lee co-founded Pinkberry with then-wife Shelly Hwang in 2005, and he is no longer involved with the company, its partners or its more than 170 stores worldwide.

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Jan. 31, 2012 - Pinkberry co-founder Young Lee pleads not guilty in assault caseJan. 17, 2012 - Young Lee, Pinkberry co-founder, arrested for allegedly assaulting homeless man