NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Hotelier Vikram Chatwal will do five days of community service after he agreed to a plea deal Tuesday for trying to light a pair of Jack Russell terriers on fire last year.
The 45-year-old SoHo hotelier pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor of aggravated animal cruelty and an animal cruelty violation.
In addition to the one week of community service Chatwal has been ordered to perform, he agreed to get drug and psychological treatment and pay $1,000 in restitution to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which treated the dogs. If he complies with the terms, which include living with his parents, the misdemeanor will be expunged after a year.
“We’re pleased that the DA’s office realized all of the mitigating factors and is offering this disposition,” Arthur Aidala, Chatwal’s attorney, said after the plea.
When Manhattan Judge Gerianne Abriano asked Chatwal whether he “attempted to cause serious physical injury to two dogs using an aerosol can and lighter to set fire to them? Chatwal, answered “yes.”
Chatwal, founder of the Dream Hotel Group, was arrested in October after attacking the dogs, named Molly and Finnegan, on Wooster Street in Soho near his condominium. The pooches’ dog walker, Isabell Suquilanda, filed a lawsuit after the incident, claiming she had been deeply traumatized.