Granddad Who Dropped Toddler From Cruise Ship Window to Her Death Became Hysterical, Was Sedated After Accident

The grandfather who dropped his 18-month-old granddaughter 150 feet to her death while on a cruise ship vacation was reportedly so distressed after the horrific accident that he had to be sedated, according to new reports.

Salvatore Anello dropped Chloe Wiegand from the 11th floor of Royal Caribbean cruise line's Freedom of the Seas vessel while it was docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Sunday evening.

Local media reports indicate that Anello was playing with his granddaughter when she fell from a window onto the dock's concrete floor. According to the El Vocero newspaper, Anello and his family members were so disturbed by the incident that they had to be sedated by medics.

One fellow passenger told the Telemundo PR TV station they "heard the screams of the families" after the girl fell. "A cry of pain of that nature does not compare with any other cry," the passenger said, according to The Sun.

Elmer Roman, from the Puerto Rico Department of Public Security, told Primera Hora that investigators believe Wiegand fell from the window while Anello played a "game" with her.

This was corroborated by Puerto Rico Ports Authority spokesperson Jose Carmona, who said the grandfather sat the child at the edge of a window while the Indiana family was gathered in or near a dining hall on the 11th floor. Carmona said officials were investigating whether the window was already open when Wiegand was set down, or whether it was opened afterwards.

Though there have been suggestions that Anello could face neglect charges over his granddaughter's death, Puerto Rico officials said they were not jumping to any conclusions.

"This is a process that is under investigation," Commissioner of the Police Bureau Henry Escalera Rivera told Primera Hora. "We must wait to interview relatives and evaluate other evidence to determine if the filing of charges is appropriate."

The family's lawyer, Michael Winkleman, has said Anello believed there was glass behind Wiegand when he set her on the railing, close to a children's play area.

"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," he told NBC.

Winkleman explained that Wiegand would often watch her brother play ice hockey and enjoyed banging on the glass divider between players and spectators.

"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 added, suggesting the Royal Caribbean cruise line was to blame. "Why in the world would you leave a window open in an entire glass wall full of windows in a kid's area?"

cruise ship, accident, grandad, dropped, toddler
The Freedom of the Seas cruise ship is pictured making its way up the Hudson River on May 12, 2006 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty