NORTHFIELD, Ohio — What began as a night of entertainment at the Rocksino, now known as the MGM Northfield, ended up being anything but fun for a Brecksville couple, when they discovered an unwanted visitor in their car.
It was not the four-legged type that sometimes makes its way into neighborhoods. It was actually a person who rode with them unnoticed, until they pulled into their driveway.
Back in March, the Cigankos went to see magician Michael Carbonaro. He's also an illusionist known for making people believe the unbelievable. But after the show, Alex and Carol couldn't believe what magically appeared in their car.
Carol tells us when she opened her car door in front of her home, and a woman jumped out from the backseat, she yelled, "What are you doing here? Where did you come from?!"
The couple had left their car with the valet about 7:30 that evening. After the show, slots and some snacks, they got their car around five hours later, and made the 13-minute drive from Northfield to their home in a wooded area in Brecksville.
As soon as they came face to face with that stranger, they called the police.
Alex says the woman told them she got in the car because she thought that was her sister's car. "But I don't understand that part of it at all," says Alex.
No charges were filed, but when Alex called the Casino, it was like a game of Three-Card Monte.
"Two different stories," Alex says. "The manager of the valet said she came down before us and said it was her sister's car, and got in, and that her sister would be coming down shortly."
But he said, the Casino's front office told him the woman got in precisely the same time as Carol did; that the timing was perfect and they both opened the door at the same time.
The couple was surprised no one saw anything.
That's when Alex asked to see the surveillance tape, but they said no. Instead, they just offered better seats to see Marie and the Osmond's and Larry the Cable Guy, both of which they already had tickets for. So the Ciganko's hired an attorney.
"The entry into a person's car, that you expect to be locked, they expect to be protected...when you turn it over to the valet or any private parking lot, is that it will not be violated," says attorney Joseph Diemert. "If it's violated, whether there are damages or not, it's presumed they do."
It's not that they wanted a payout, they just wanted to know what happened to make sure there was no repeat performance for someone else.
"My concern is that maybe somebody was following her and if the police hadn't come as quickly as they did, who knows what may of happened," says Alex.
When we first called MGM Northfield Park, which was known as the Rocksino and run by the Hard Rock when the incident happened—they said they wouldn't comment because they were still investigating. Mind you, this happened in March.
The following day though, the Ciganko's attorney told us MGM contacted them, offering a financial goodwill gesture, but would not comment on matters involving security policies.