MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Royal Caribbean says they have video proof that a northern Indiana man knew a cruise ship window was open before he accidentally dropped his step-granddaughter out of it.
Eighteen-month-old Chloe Wiegland fell to her death last July.
According to court documents acquired by WTTV, a CBS affiliate in Indiana, the Doral-based cruise line said they have video proof which shows Salvatore Anello leaned out the open window of the ship which was docked in Puerto Rico before he picked up the girl, held her out of it and then lost his grip.
The court filing states that this was not a case of a child approaching an open window and accidentally falling out, rather surveillance footage shows an intentional act which led to an unfortunate consequence.
According to the cruise line’s filing, two closed-circuit television cameras captured the events leading to the fall.
Anello then picked up Chloe, lifted her over the wooden rail, held her by and then out of the open window, which was 11 decks high off the ground.
Anello held the girl for thirty-four seconds before she fell.
Anello has claimed he didn’t know the window was open because he is color blind. Royal Caribbean says video evidence disproves that claim because he knew the window was open.
Royal Caribbean says the “only reasonable conclusion from the video” is that Anello knew the window was open and he held her out of it for a “considerable period,” thus “recklessly endangering her life.”
Anello faces a negligent homicide charge in Puerto Rico.
Chloe’s family is suing the cruise line for negligence.