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Pinkberry co-founder Young Lee arrested on assault warrant

January 16, 2012 |  8:44 pm


Original Pinkberry in West Hollywood; one of the founders was arrested Monday


One of the founders of the popular Pinkberry yogurt chain was arrested Monday afternoon at Los Angeles International Airport on an outstanding warrant for assault with a deadly weapon, law enforcement authorities told The Times.

Young Lee, 47, was taken into custody and booked at the Los Angeles Police Department's Pacific Division station, according to online Sheriff's Department booking records. He was being held in lieu of $60,000 bail. The records do not indicate if he had been released.

Lee was taken into custody by the LAX Fugitive Task Force, which includes LAPD officers and FBI agents.

The warrant was issued by the LAPD for the alleged assault, which took place in the downtown area in June, Officer Karen Rayner said. The circumstances of the incident were unclear Monday night.

Lee, a former kick boxer turned architect, co-founded Pinkberry with Shelly Hwang in 2005.

The first shop opened that year in West Hollywood and featured a healthy, low-calorie yogurt that came in two flavors: plain and green tea. The small shop on Huntley Drive quickly generated a loyal following of calorie-counting Angelenos who helped the business succeed beyond expectations.

At one point, Pinkberry was drawing 3,000 customers a day and became known as the yogurt shop that spawned 1,000 parking tickets.

The business spread and now has more than 100 locations in the United States, Mexico and the Middle East, according to the company website.

The website does not list any affiliation with  Lee but does say that Hwang is a board director.

The original Pinkberry in West Hollywood closed in April 2010 amid stiff competition from other yogurt chains.


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--Andrew Blankstein (twitter.com/anblanx) and Robert J. Lopez (twitter.com/LAJourno)

Photo: Original Pinkberry shop in West Hollywood in 2010. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times