Approaching the witching hour, Kareena Kapoor bewitches two Patels into a brawl at the AAHOA meet in Philadelphia

Chairman Pratik Patel, Alkesh Patel come to blows over who would escort Kapoor.

By Deepak Chitnis

WASHINGTON, DC: While the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) celebrated its 25th anniversary at a gala event in Philadelphia, last weekend, the milestone was also marked by a less reputable incident: a fight between two senior members over who would escort Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor, who attended the event as its chief entertainer.

Pratik Patel (courtesy of AAHOA)
Pratik Patel (courtesy of AAHOA)

On Saturday, the final day of the three-day commemorative event, chairman Pratik Patel and former chairman Alkesh Patel began arguing over who would escort Kapoor at the end of her performance, at around 11:00 PM that night. The argument began as nothing more than a verbal altercation, according to a security guard for Oracle Protection Services, the company hired for the event.

RELATED STORY: Police report shared with The American Bazaar reveals new facts about AAHOA brawl; Alkesh Patel comments to “clarify” reports

However, according to allegations, the incident quickly escalated, with Alkesh allegedly grabbing Pratik by the throat with both of his hands, and whispering something sinister in his ear. Pratik then retaliated by pushing Alkesh off of him and punching him two or three times on the left side of his face.

The two were separated quickly by security and other attendees, with Alkesh’s family calling 911 to report the incident and have Pratik arrested for assault. Pratik, meanwhile, lodged a complaint with the Philadelphia Police Department, saying that Alkesh initiated the physical contact and that Pratik was forced to defend himself.

On his Facebook page, Alkesh thanked supporters for standing by him through the whole encounter.

“Thank you to all Friends and Family for staying up all night at hospital and making sure that I was fine,” said Alkesh. “My wounds will heal soon but the scars from this incident will be with us forever.”

So far, no official charges have been filed, according to reports. Pratik has not commented on the case, telling the media that the facts will come out in due time.

Alkesh Patel (courtesy of AAHOA)
Alkesh Patel (courtesy of AAHOA)

A second-generation desi hotel owner from San Antonio, Texas, Pratik graduated from Baylor University with a degree in management and marketing. He later earned his M.B.A. from the same institution in Finance, and another master’s degree in information systems. After spending several years an AAHOA executive, he was elected last year to be the organization’s 2014 leader.

Alkesh was the chairman two years ago, an immigrant who came to the US in 1986. He is based in Vancouver, Washington, and joined AAHOA in 1997. He has won the organization’s Chairman’s award three times, and is also involved with AAHOA’s Strategic Planning Committee, India Committee, Franchise and Industry Relations (FAIR) Committee, Membership Committee, Sponsorship Committee, and Finance, Budget and Audit Committee.

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