Young Lee, Pinkberry Co-Founder, Arrested For Alleged Assault With Deadly Weapon
Shelly Hwang and Young Lee, co-founders of Pinkberry.
Updated after the jump: Pinkberry wants nothing to do with this. First posted at 12:29 a.m.
The man behind the yogurt with the sour kick apparently also kicks ass.
That, at least, is according to an arrest warrant put on the head of Pinkberry co-founder Young Lee, who was collared at LAX late yesterday. He was wanted on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, dating back to a June incident downtown, police said.
The LAX Fugitive Task Force took grabbed him ...
... at LAX yesterday afternoon, LAPD Officer Karen Rayner told City News Service.
Lee, 47, co-founded the yogurt retailer with Shelly Hwang when, in 2005, they opened a single store in West Hollywood. It became so popular with locals and celebrities that neighbors complained about parking and traffic.
Pinkberry, known for its signature sour-style frozen yogurt (and the copycat spots that that mimicked it), now has more than 100 outlets in the United States, Mexico and the Middle East, according to its site.
Lee's name is not currently on Pinkberry's list of executives and board members.
It's not clear what, exactly, Lee is accused of doing under the umbrella of alleged "assault with a deadly weapon" or what kind of weapon authorities claim was involved.
The Los Angeles Times, which broke the story of his arrest last night, says Lee is a former kickboxer.
The L.A. County Sheriff's inmate information database indicates the 5-foot, 11-inch Lee was arrested at 1:45 p.m. yesterday and jailed at the LAPD's Pacific Division station. His bail was set at $60,000.
[Update at 11:12 a.m.]: In a statement released this morning, here's what the LAPD alleges Lee did (and what it says happened afterward):
According to police records, a homeless man was begging at the off ramp of the 101 Freeway and Vermont Avenue when Lee and a companion had words with the man. According to witnesses, the two men chased and beat the homeless man, who was later treated at the hospital. Detectives could not locate the homeless man for a time, but were able to get information from a number of witnesses, including the license plate of the attackers' Range Rover which returned to a rental in Lee's name.
When federal databases alerted detectives that Lee was inbound on a flight from his native Korea on January 16, 2012, detectives from the task force and the FBI met Lee at the airport and arrested him.
The Los Angeles Times says police allege the victim was beat with a tire iron.
[Added at 12:11 p.m.]: The D.A.'s office alleges that Lee took offense to a sexually explicit tattoo on the victim has he panhandled for cash on Vermont Avenue next to the 101 freeway offramp.