Being a valet doesn’t sound that hard, right? People leave you their car keys, you give them a ticket, park their car, and then wait to return the owners’ key later on.
Unfortunately, last July, a valet at a Marriott International hotel gave the keys to a Ferrari 458 Italia Spider away to the wrong person and the hotel is now facing a lawsuit, according to News-Press.
Apparently, James “Skip” Fowler, a 73-year-old attorney, had his yellow 2014 458 Spider parked outside of the Vinoy Renaissance Resort & Golf Club on July in St. Petersburg, Fla. The supercar reportedly stayed in its location for approximately 12 hours before 28-year-old Levi Miles showed up and demanded the keys to the vehicle.
Miles told the valet that the Ferrari was his and that the ticket was inside the vehicle, which he would return shortly. The valet took Miles’ word for it and gave him the keys to the supercar. After receiving the keys, Miles, who was joined by Chloe Rimmer, sat in the vehicle for “quite a while,” states the police report. The two were probably trying to comprehend all of the buttons on the steering wheel.
The outlet states that the valet eventually gave up on getting the ticket back, as he “figured he wasn’t getting a tip.”
Miles and Rimmer didn’t get very far, as an officer stopped the driver for operating the vehicle without taillights. The police report states that cocaine was found on the center console of the supercar, Rimmer had marijuana stashed away in her purse, and Miles had difficulty operating the vehicle – which, under those circumstances, is understandable.
Miles reportedly stated that he had just met Rimmer and was trying to impress her. Rimmer asked Miles if the Ferrari was his, to which he responded, “Yeah, that’s my car.” Miles told officers, “I was just trying to impress the girl I just met at the Vinoy.”
While this sounds like an open-and-shut case, Miles claims that he isn’t guilty of grand theft, since the valet openly gave him the keys. He is, however, facing charges of cocaine possession and driving with a suspended or revoked license. Rimmer is allegedly facing a charge of marijuana possession.
Poor ol’ Fowler is now accusing the hotel and valet, 717 Parking Enterprises, of negligence, as he said he’s had to spend “significant sums” on getting the 458 Italia Spider inspected and repaired. Not to mention the legal fees he incurred after getting his Ferrari back and the now-diminished value of the vehicle.
The report didn’t state how much Fowler is suing the hotel and valet for, but we’re sure it’s a large amount. We’ve seen valets do some brainless things in the past, but this story should really make you think twice before handing your keys over to someone else.