Hotel owner Hemant Mistry dies after being attacked in Oklahoma City, OK, a suspect arrested


Hemant Shantilal Mistry, an Indian American hotel owner died June 23, 2024, following an altercation with a man in the hotel premises June 22, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. A suspect has been arrested according to the police.

“Saturday night around 10:00 p.m., police were summoned to a motel parking lot in reference to an assault. Officers arrived and learned 59-year-old Hemant Mistry was in the process of asking 41-year-old Richard Lewis to leave the property,” the police report says about the June 22 incident, on the agency’s website says.

“While doing so, Lewis punched Mistry one time, knocking him unconscious. Mistry was hospitalized and sadly died a day later at 7:40 p.m. as a result of his injuries,” the police said. Lewis was later found at a hotel in the 1900 block of S. Meridian Ave. and arrested.

A June 26 press release from the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, a national organization with its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, called the murder tragic, and described 59  year-old Mistry as “a respected AAHOA Member and veteran hotel owner/operator.” Mistry was one of AAHOA’s 20,000 members who together own 60% of the hotels in the United States and are responsible for 1.4% of the nation’s GDP.

“This incident bears a heartbreaking resemblance to the murder of Pravin R. Patel, owner of the Hillcrest Motel in Sheffield, AL, who was killed under similar circumstances in February,” AAHOA said.

“Our hearts go out to Hemant’s family, including his wife and children,” AAHOA Chairman Miraj S. Patel is quoted saying in the press release. “For many AAHOA Members, hotels are not just businesses; they are homes and places of refuge. It is unimaginable to our community that such a senseless act of violence could occur. As someone who grew up in my family’s hotel in Texas, I understand the fear and dread that comes with such violent situations.” AAHOA, is the largest hotel-owners association in the world, with Member-owned properties representing a significant part of the U.S. economy.

The organization which is made up largely of Indian Americans, urged hoteliers to prioritize safety protocols and consider the risks of handling confrontational situations independently.

Hotel staff should engage law enforcement when faced with potentially volatile encounters to mitigate risks to personal safety, AAHOA warned its members.

Miraj S. Patel noted that he has been inundated with calls and texts from the hotelier community, seeking ways to combat such violence on their properties. In response, AAHOA is expediting the development of educational resources to help hotel owners minimize conflict and prevent violent incidents by understanding how to de-escalate unstable situations.

“We will strive to honor Hemant’s life by promoting the importance of hotel safety and security and advocating for laws and policies that protect business owners and their communities,” said Miraj S. Patel. “If our collective efforts can prevent this from happening to even one family in the future, we know our work will not be in vain and that Hemant’s legacy will live on in the AAHOA Community and beyond.” news outlet reported that Lewis was originally arrested on a charge of assault which could now be upped to 2nd degree murder.

Currently, the investigation is in the early stages, Oklahoma City police said in its June 24 release. Anyone with any information should contact the Homicide Tip Line 405/297-1200. The principal investigator in the case is Sgt. Dillon Quirk (405/297-1111)



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