Published: Wed, July 10, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Attorney: Girl fell to death from open window on cruise ship

Attorney: Girl fell to death from open window on cruise ship

Winkleman said the girl's family wants to know why a window that "should have been closed securely" was open.

The South Bend Police Department, where Alan Wiegand is an officer, offered its "sincerest condolences" to the family in a Monday statement - a sentiment later echoed by South Bend Mayor and Democratic Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg.

The family's attorney, Michael Winkleman, disputes this characterization of the incident.

Winkleman said that Chloe, from Granger, Indiana, enjoyed watching her older brother play hockey and loved to bang on the glass during games. One description had Anello holding her out of an open window before she slipped from his grasp, while another had her perching on the window sill before his grip faltered.

Chloe and her grandfather, Sam Anello, were "in the water park on the ship, which is designed for the kids - kids are meant to be there", said Winkleman.

"He puts her up on there thinking she's going to bang on the glass and it's going to be great, he puts her up on there and she leans forward and she's gone", Winkleman said.

Michael Winkleman, the lawyer for the family of Chloe Wiegand, told reporters on Tuesday that the girl's grandfather had placed her along a ledge of windows where she could look out and hadn't realized one of those windows was open.

Chloe is a hockey fan and loved to bang on the ice hockey rink glass wall as she watched her older brother, Winkleman said, and her grandfather put her on the railing thinking she'd bang on the glass.

The Royal Caribbean cruise ship, "Freedom of the Seas", was anchored in San Juan, Puerto Rico when 18-month-old Chloe Rae Marie Wiegand fell from the 11th storey window to the concrete Pan American dock below. "It was reasonable for Sam the grandfather to think that this was all glass because from his perspective it was all glass".

"Why would you have that kind of danger without any sign without any warning without any notice?"

"I do think that there is going to be blame and significant blame on the cruise line", Winkleman told NBC News on Tuesday.

"I will do everything I can to hold them accountable for what appears to me to be negligence", he added. However, her family says that is not the case.

The ship was allegedly docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico, when the incident occurred.

Local officials told El Vocero, a Puerto Rican newspaper, Anello and Chloe's parents had to be sedated afterwards because they were so upset.

Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises called it a "tragic incident" and said it was helping the family.

"We've made our Care Team available to assist the family with any resources they need", the company said, noting, "out of respect for [the family's] privacy, we do not plan to comment further on the incident".

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