Pinkberry co-founder Young Lee is looking forward to clearing his name of assault charges, an attorney for the executive told NBC4 News Tuesday in an exclusive television interview.
Lee, 47, was arrested Monday afternoon at Los Angeles International Airport on an outstanding warrant for assault with a deadly weapon while returning from a trip to Korea. He was released on $60,000 bail.
Philip Cohen, an attorney for Lee, said his client is an innocent man and he intends to the take the case to a jury.
“No crime has been committed by my client of any kind and we’re going to deal with this in the proper form, which is the court,” Cohen said.
The crime allegedly took place in June of 2011. Prosecutors said Lee and a second unidentified suspect confronted the victim because Lee thought he had disrespected him by exposing a sexually explicit tattoo.
The two allegedly beat the victim with a tire iron, striking him on his head and arm, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The victim sustained a broken left forearm and several cuts to his head, police said.
Cohen told NBC4 News, however, that there were six people in the car and the homeless man had threatened them.
“They haven’t chosen to give me a copy of the police report as of yet,” he added.
The investigation took months because detectives had trouble finding the victim. In December, detectives paid a visit to Lee’s Malibu home. Lee was in Korea at the time, but as soon as he found out that LAPD had come to his home, Cohen said Lee contacted the department and the detective in charge by phone.
He added that the LAPD and district attorney refused Lee’s immediate offer to come home and surrender. Instead, he was taken into custody Monday just as his flight from Korea landed.
“We have a serious crime here, so sometimes having people surrender on their own just isn’t a reality,” said LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman.
Cohen maintains that allegations that his client was a fugitive are incorrect.