ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. –
The owner of a $ 300,000 Ferrari is suing Marriott International, saying that a hotel valet gave his keys to a young man who was trying to impress a woman he just met.
The Tampa Bay Times reports James "Skip" Fowler, 73, parked his yellow 458 Italia Spider outside the Vinoy Renaissance Resort & Golf Club on July 27 while attending a St. Petersburg convention.
There the 2014 Ferrari stayed for more than 12 hours, until Levi Miles, who was then 28 years old appeared. Miles said he had told the woman that it was his and asked for the keys, telling the valet that the ticket was in the car and that he would bring it back. He never did it. The two sat in the car for "a long time," according to a report from the St. Petersburg police. Finally, the valet said he stopped paying attention after "he supposed he would not receive a tip."
Miles left with Chloe Rimmer in the passenger seat until an officer stopped him for driving without taillights. The police report indicated that the driver had "difficulty" in driving the car, that cocaine was found in the center console and that Rimmer had marijuana in his purse.
Miles told several stories. Then he said that he had just met Rimmer, and she asked him if the Ferrari was his. "Yes, that's my car," he said he told her.
"I was trying to impress the girl I had just met at the Vinoy," he told the officers.
But Miles says he's innocent of a major robbery, because the valet gave him the keys. He also faces charges for possession of cocaine and habitual driving with a suspended or revoked license. Rimmer faces a charge of possession of marijuana.
Fowler, meanwhile, accuses the hotel and the valet, 717 Parking Enterprises, of negligence. He said he had to spend "significant sums" on car inspections, repairs and legal fees after recovering his Ferrari, and that his value had been "decreased."
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