Grandfather Who Accidentally Dropped Toddler From Cruise Ship Could Face Charges

Family of tot who fell to death on cruise denies grandfather dropped her

Initial reports from police in Puerto Rico indicated Chloe fell out of her grandfather's arms from aboard Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas.

Salvatore Anello, the child's grandfather, is now under investigation and could face criminal charges of negligence, the New York Post reports.

Puerto Rico Ports Authority spokesman José Carmona told The Associated Press on Monday that the family was gathered in or near a dining hall on the 11th floor and that the grandfather sat the toddler on the edge of a window. This photograph was taken by Chloe's father after the accident.

Chloe and Anello were in the boat's H2O Zone, an area of hot tubs, but mostly pools, water shooters and color schemes that beckon more to children. "And there's a whole wall of windows".

According to witnesses, the toddler let out a "blood curdling" scream as she fell.

An exterior view of the window.

Elmer Roman, of the Puerto Rican Department of Public Security, initially said that the grandfather appeared to be playing with the girl on the 11th floor of the ship when he "lifted her out of the open window and lost his grip".

"We've all had that experience where someone walks into a glass door thinking it's not there".

"He thought it was all glass", attorney Michael Winkleman said.

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According to maritime lawyer Michael Winkleman, Chloe Wiegand's grandfather placed her on a railing in a children's play area, believing there was glass in front of the railing to prevent Wiegand from falling. "She goes to bang on the glass like she would have at one of those hockey rinks, and the next thing you know, she's gone". He was literally crying saying 'I thought it was like she was at a hockey game. "Clearly, he was wrong".

No alcohol was involved, added Winkleman.

Winkleman told NBC News the family doesn't understand why there was an open window along the wall of glass panels. "Why would you think that in a kids' play area. there's going to be this hidden danger?"

"I do think there is going to be blame and significant blame on the cruise line", he added.

Her distraught grandfather, right with her, had to be sedated after her tragic fall. Anello's boss told CBS affiliate WSBT he is a model employee. "It's all glass windows", said Winkleman. Winkleman said the family was still in Puerto Rico and wanted to return home.

"She was such a happy and loving child", he said.

The girl is the daughter of IN police officer Alan Wiegand and his wife, Kimberly.

A Royal Caribbean spokesperson said the company is cooperating with authorities and are providing the Wiegands with hotel accommodations while they're in Puerto Rico. Out of respect for their privacy, we do not plan to comment further on the incident.No further details were released.

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