A man whose 18-month-old granddaughter died when she fell from his grasp and plummeted 11 stories on board a docked cruise ship has been charged with negligent homicide.
Chloe Weigand, from Indiana, was on a family holiday with her parents, maternal grandparents and siblings when the tragedy occurred, as the Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas was docked in Puerto Rico in July.
On Monday, a judge ordered the arrest of her grandfather Salvatore Anello after prosecutors submitted evidence claiming the little girl fell when he raised her up to an open window.
A lawyer for the family has said the toddler asked her grandfather to lift her up so she could bang on the glass in a children’s play area. He blamed the cruise ship company for leaving the window open.
Anello is being held on $80,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on November 20.
Speaking shortly after the tragedy, the family lawyer Michael Winkleman said: “Essentially, her grandfather lifts her up and puts her on a railing and where he thinks that there is glass there because it’s clear, but it turns out there was no glass there.
“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.”
Winkleman says the family wants to know why there was an open window along a wall of glass panels in a child’s play area.
“Why in the world would you leave a window open in an entire glass wall full of windows in a kids’ area?” he asked.