Millionaire Hotelier Sets Fire to Art Dealer’s Dogs in Bizarre Incident

Sean Kelly says the attack was completely unprovoked.

Sean Kelly, Preview of the 2013 Armory Show at Pier 92/94, NYC, March 06, 2013. Photo ©Patrick McMullan/
Sean Kelly, Preview of the 2013 Armory Show at Pier 92/94, NYC, March 06, 2013. Photo ©Patrick McMullan/

In a bizarre and terrifying turn of events, British gallerist Sean Kelly’s dogs and dog walker were attacked by millionaire hotelier Vikram Chatwal with a cigarette lighter and an aerosol can in New York earlier this week.

The Jack Russell pooches, seven-year-old Molly and Finn, were being taken for an afternoon walk in Soho, New York by Kelly’s dog walker Isabell Suquilanda when Chatwal ran out of his house stating that the dogs, “must die.”

“It was completely unprovoked,” Kelly told Page Six. “[Chatwal] was raving about his house being infected with bugs. Isabell had just come downstairs to take the dogs out for their midday walk when he attacked her.”

Chatwal then tried to set the dogs on fire by igniting the aerosol with the lighter creating a blow torch effect and pointing it at them. Suquilanda stood in front of the small dogs, risking her own safety while Chatwal continued to try and attack them.

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“I was walking down the street, and I saw this guy crouching and aggressively circling this woman and the dogs screaming at them, with a lighter and aerosol can spraying fire on the dogs,” witness Roxanne Robles told The Post.

The dogs had to be taken to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) at the request of the police after the shocking attack, and suffered burns and singed fur.

Chatwal has made no official statement but has taken to social media to show his historic love for animals.

“This guy is dangerous and shouldn’t be on the streets,” Kelly told Page Six. “Anybody who attacks a defenseless animal in my opinion is the lowest of the low.”

Chatwal, founder of the Dream, Night and Time boutique hotels whose father Sant Singh Chatwal founded the Hampshire Hotels & Resorts chain, was questioned by police on Monday and may well be charged with animal cruelty.

“We will be asking for the fullest charges to be brought against him and we want a restraining order against him, as well,” said a clearly upset Kelly. “This way, he can’t come near our home or our animals.”

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