Grandad who dropped toddler 150ft from cruise ‘didn’t realise window was open’

A grandad who dropped a toddler 150ft to her death from the window of a cruise ship has said he didn’t realise it was open.

Salvatore Anello gave his first interview since being charged with negligent homicide after the death of his two-year-old grandchild Chloe Weigand.

He blames his colourblindness leading to him not realising the window was open.

Anello was holding Chloe on the Freedom of the Seas cruise ship which was docked in Puerto Rico when the little girl slipped out of his grasp.

She plunged ten storeys to her death as the little girl fell onto the docks below.

Her grandad he screamed “I thought there was glass” after she slipped from his grip.

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"I am colour blind so that's something that … I don't know. I just never saw [there was no glass],” Anello said during an emotional interview with CBS This Morning.

"I've been told that's a reason it may have happened.”

He claimed that it was as if the glass “disappeared” when she fell from his grasp.

The grandad said he had brought her over to the window so she bang on the glass.

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Anello, from Indiana, ecalled leaning over to let Chloe touch the glass when she fell from his grip.

He said: "I didn't realize there wasn't any glass until it absolutely was too late.

"I thought she fell in front of me. I thought she fell in front of me.”

Her grandad said he scrambled on the floor trying to find her – refusing to believe she had fallen from the window.

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He said: "I remember trying to find her on the floor and then I saw her fall.

"I saw her fall.

"I saw her fall and I was just in disbelief. And I was like 'Oh my God.'

"And I think for a while I was in shock and I was just standing there. And then I just remember screaming that I thought there was glass. I thought there was glass.

"I kind of relive it all the time and I just thought there was glass there. I don't know what else to tell you."

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Chloe was declared dead at the scene from blunt force trauma to the head.

Anello made his first court appearance last Wednesday and faces three years jailtime if he is found guilty of Chloe's horrific death.

He said the grief has made him indifferent ahead of the upcoming trial – describing Chloe as a “perfect little girl”.

The toddler's parents Alan and Kimberly Weigand have have rallied around Chloe's maternal grandfather, arguing that Royal Caribbean left a window open in a play area.

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Puerto Rican officials have been asked to drop the case by the Weigands – but the state continues to argue Anello acted recklessly.

Their attorney Michael Winkleman has now accused Puerto Rican authorities and Royal Caribbean of "pouring salt in their open wounds.”

"They’re in the beginning stages of a lengthy process that is grief. They were trying to put their lives back together,” he said.

"You throw this into the mix and it puts them back to square one."

Anello's pre-trial conference is set for December 17.

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