Billionaire Indian handed community service for burning dogs

New York: Prominent Indian-American hotelier Vikram Chatwal has been ordered to do five days of community service and barred from owning a pet for five years for trying to set two dogs on fire.

Chatwal, 44, took a plea deal for trying to torch the pair of Jack Russell terriers named Molly and Finnegan outside his condominium last year.

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, the founder of Dream Hotels and son of businessman Sant Singh Chatwal, answered in the affirmative.

However, Assistant District Attorney Tanisha Palvia said that “given the defendant’s mental health history and lack of criminal history and minimal injury to the dogs, we are offering” a no-jail deal.

Chatwal must serve five days of community service, continue mental-health treatment, submit to random drug testing and still live with his parents under the deal, the New York Post reported.

Chatwal, who has also acted in Hollywood films, was arrested in October.