In a shocking development, the billionaire hotel owner who set two dogs set on fire last October just got a light penalty of five days of community service via a plea deal.
The decision, which virtually gets Vikram Chatwal off scot-free from his rather disturbing crime, outraged Sean Kelly, a British art gallery owner and the owner of the two Jack Russell terriers that Chatwal attacked.
“It’s absolutely disgusting and outrageous that somebody can attack two animals and a woman innocently walking on the streets of New York and not get a significant judgment against him,” Kelly was quoted as saying.
“I’m absolutely appalled,” Kelly said. “This has to do with the fact he’s rich.”
New York Daily News reports that Chatwal was also prohibited from owning a dog for a period of five years, ordered to pay over $1,000 in restitution to the non-profit American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and tasked to undergo drug and psychological treatment.
Chatwal’s misdemeanor charges will be wiped clean after a year should he comply with the terms.
During the October incident, Chatwal was reportedly heard ranting about fleas in his home and allegedly yelled, “The dogs must die,” before setting the 7-year-old sibling dogs Molly and Finnegan on fire with a lighter and an aerosol can as well as attacking the dog walker.
The dogs, which suffered minor burns, were with Kelly’s dog walker in Soho at that time, according to PageSix.
“My dogs have been deeply traumatized,” Kelly said. “The damage he’s caused is exponential.”
Chatwal, the eldest son of multimillionaire Sant Singh Chatwal, is known for creating the slick Dream and Time hotels in Manhattan. He was previously busted in 2013 for drug possession at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport in Florida. The case was dropped, however, after he finished rehab.