A GRANDFATHER who dropped a toddler from a cruise ship window has pleaded guilty to her death. After child’s parents sued Royal Caribbean accusing the company of negligence.
Eighteen-month-old Chloe Weigand died when she fell from her grandfather Salvatore Anello’s arms through a window on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship the Freedom of the Seas as it was docked.
Anello made the plea from his home in Indiana, US, and claimed he could not travel to Puerto Rico due to risks associated with COVID-19.
The grandfather said he picked up Chloe Wiegand and held her over a railing on the 11th floor to look out a bank of windows on July 7, 2019.
Anello said he initially had the eighteen-month-old in a hug, but he then let one arm go as they both reached out to knock on the glass.
“At that point, she slipped. I didn’t realise there wasn’t any glass until absolutely it was too late,” Anello said in an interview.
”I saw her fall. I saw her fall the whole way down. It was disbelief.”
In a statement, an attorney for the Wiegand family, Michael Winkleman, said because the plea agreement did not include prison time and no admission of facts, it was in the family’s best interest to move on.
Chloe’s parents sued Royal Caribbean last year and accused the company of negligence.