Things That Matter

Grandfather Of Toddler Who Died Of Fall From Cruise Ship Pleads Guilty

Update: October 16, 2020

The grandfather of the toddler who fell from a cruise ship window in Puerto Rico has pleaded guilty. The tragic accident happened in 2019 when the family took a vacation to Puerto Rico. The grandfather tried to show his granddaughter the island from a window but didn’t know it was open.

Salvatore Anello pleaded guilty to negligent homicide after his granddaughter fell from a cruise ship window.

Anello will not serve any jail time as part of a plea deal. Instead, the man has been sentenced to probation in Indiana. According to the family’s attorney, the decision was not an easy one but had to be done to close the chapter. The family has been in legal battles for more than a year as the case worked its way through the court.

“This decision was an incredibly difficult one for Sam and the family, but because the plea agreement includes no jail time and no admission of facts, it was decided the plea deal is in the best interests of the family so that they can close this horrible chapter and turn their focus to mourning Chloe and fighting for cruise passenger safety,” the family’s attorney said, according to CBS News.

Original: There are new charges being brought against the grandfather of a 1-year-old girl who fell to her death from an 11th story window on a cruise ship this past July. Authorities are charging Salvatore Anello with negligent homicide after prosecutors argued that his granddaughter, Chloe Wiegand, 18 months, fell and died after he lifted her up to an open window on the cruise ship. Anello says he thought that the window was closed when he lifted her next to the window but instead she fell 11 stories onto the concrete below on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship that was docked in San Juan back on July 7. 

Salvatore Anello is facing three years in prison for the death of 1-year-old Wiegand after Puerto Rico’s Justice Department ordered his arrest this past Monday. They argue that he negligently exposed his granddaughter to the open window. 

Credit: @DailyMail / Twitter

Wiegand was on vacation with her dad, a South Bend, Indiana, police officer, her mother, siblings and both sets of grandparents on the Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas cruise ship. The family has been crushed by the news and at this time has stood by Anello’s story that he didn’t know that the window was open. According to the family, he often held up his granddaughter next to the glass at her older brother’s hockey game so she could bang on it. 

“Chloe wanted to bang on the glass like she always did at her older brothers’ hockey games,” Michael Winkleman, an attorney for Wiegand’s parents said in a July statement. “Her grandfather thought there was glass just like everywhere else, but there was not, and she was gone in an instant.”

Winkleman told NBC News that the new charges being put forward have only made the situation worse. He describes the morale within the family as “fractured” after Anello’s arrest.

“The family is crushed. Utterly crushed,” Winkleman said. “I think they were doing their best to really start the process of grieving for the months since the incident since the tragedy happened and I think they were really doing their best to keep it together for their 11-year-old son.”

The grandfather has vehemently denied any and all accusations of wrongdoing to his granddaughter. The family lawyer has called for more warnings or even a sign to notify people of the open window near the play area. 

Credit: @WTHRoom / Twitter

“I think the critical problem there was that there are strict safety regulations that are in place that are literally designed to protect against exactly that incident, which is a toddler falling through an open glass window,” Winkleman said. “Those are primarily, you could have a screen, you could have some type of grid. Or more importantly, windows in that type of a situation aren’t even supposed to open more than 4 inches.”

While video evidence has yet to be seen by the family, they are holding Royal Caribbean responsible for their daughter’s death. Winkleman told NBC News on Tuesday that the family has no reason to not believe Anello’s story. Winklemam says that the family intends to pursue a lawsuit against the cruise line.

“We know what Sam’s version of the events were, and I have no reason to doubt what he said,” Winkleman said. “Having said that, a picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth 10,000 words.”

Kimberly, the girl’s mother, previously told NBC’s “Today” that “I never want another mother to have to experience this or to see what I had to see or to scream how I had to scream.”

“I didn’t know that she went out a window,” Kimberley said. “And I just kept saying, ‘Take me to my baby. Where’s my baby?’ I didn’t even notice a window. I ran over there and I looked over and it wasn’t water down there, it was concrete. To lose our baby this way is just unfathomable.”

Royal Caribbean released a statement Tuesday that Weigand’s death was a “tragic incident” and is referring questions over to authorities “out of respect for the family’s privacy.”

Anello is being held on an $80,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on November 20.

READ: A Taco Truck Apologized For Serving ICE Employees At A Detention Center But Then Walked Back Their Apology

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11-Year-Old Boy Steals School Bus, Leads Cops on a 45-Minute High-Speed Chase in Baton Rouge

Things That Matter

11-Year-Old Boy Steals School Bus, Leads Cops on a 45-Minute High-Speed Chase in Baton Rouge

Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

On Sunday morning, drivers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana were treated to a sight they definitely don’t see very often: an 11-year-old boy driving a school bus. But it wasn’t just any “ride”; it was an unaccompanied, illegal joy ride.

That’s right, over the weekend, a young Louisiana boy managed to steal a school bus from the local Head Start and take it out for a spin.

He then led police officers on a 45-minute, high-speed chase around Baton Rouge.

@lainetaylor

Only in Louisiana you have a 9 year old kid steal a school bus😂 #batonrouge #Louisiana #diffrentbreed #fypシ #foryou #schoolbus

♬ original sound – Laine Taylor

A TikTok user named @lainetaylor captured the chase on video. As the school bus zoomed down the street, it appeared that around a dozen cop cars were in hot-pursuit of the rogue boy.

Witness Joy Gradney described her first-hand experience to the local WAFB news station, saying, “As he got closer and closer and closer, I saw it’s a little boy in there and he was laughing. He was like giggling on the way across Florida [Ave] as he goes right past me. I’m like, ‘I can’t believe it’s a little boy!'”

According to authorities, the bus was a “push to start” model, so it was easy for the boy to start the vehicle without any keys. As for how he could reach the pedals, that’s a question we’d like an answer to.

Police also claimed that they little boy was flipping them off and taunting them as he drove the stolen school bus.

The chase eventually ended when the bus crashed into a tree. Thankfully, no one was hurt (although three other cars were apparently hit during the chase). The boy was arrested and put in handcuffs.

Libby Smith, the woman whose tree he crashed into, sounded as shocked as anyone when she found out who the bus’s driver was.

“I’m thinking, ‘What in the world is going on?’ And my first thought is that it was a lot of kids on the bus,” she explained to WAFB. “Thank goodness he was okay he was safe, but it was not your typical Sunday afternoon occurrence for sure!”

According to reports, the police charged the boy with “theft of a vehicle, aggravated flight, damage to property and aggravated assault.” We have a feeling he won’t be stealing any more busses any time soon.

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The ‘How It Started’ Memes Are Filled With The Funny And Wholesome Content We All Need In 2020

Culture

The ‘How It Started’ Memes Are Filled With The Funny And Wholesome Content We All Need In 2020

@xolei3 / Twitter

It is not a lie to say that 2020 has been a year of disappointment and high-stress scenarios. We’ve had to quarantine from a virus, wildfires are destroying a lot of land, and well, everything else going on has just made things worse. Fortunately, on Twitter trend is giving everyone a chance to see that things can get better.

Let’s face it, 2020 has been a tough year for everyone but one Twitter trend is making life a little better.

We’ve all seen the “How It Started” memes taking over social media in recent weeks. The memes are both funny and inspirational with some showing some amazing glow ups and others showing the crushing reality of everyday life. We have all felt like the man crying over 2020 at some point over the last 7 months. It’s like this year just doesn’t stop.

Relationships are a big part of this meme trend.

Oof. This is painful and so many of us know this to be true. 😭 Sure, we can all blame our relationship woes on the current state of the world. However, that would just be doing a disservice to ourselves and our love lives. Most of us who are single now have been single for a very long time pre-Covid. But, hey, no one knows that you’re lying if you blame Covid.

A few wonderful people highlighted their transition into their true selves.

Stunning. Show-stopping. Magnificent. We love to see it. There is nothing better to see in this world than someone living their authentic truth. Like, go and do your thing. Slay all of the hearts you see, honey, and take no prisoners. We are all better in their world to be surrounded by people living in complete honesty.

The Lil Nas X joined in on the fun and highlighted his own meteoric rise to fame.

The “Old Town Road” singer really did make a big name for himself. Not only did his song get made into a duet and remix with every artist imaginable, he beat Mariah Carey’s record. Lil Nas X went from someone that no one knew to unseating Mariah Carey for longest time spent at No. 1 on the Billboard Charts.

There are some very clever takes on this meme.

So, like, who else feels like they are being personally attacked by this meme? College might have been years ago but these memories linger. Tequila is just one of those things that so many of use have to learn the hard way and those lessons stick with you.

Simone Biles gave us one of the most memorable glow ups of the meme challenge.

Simone Biles is one of the most legendary women to ever walk this planet. The way she was able to make herself known around the world as the best gymnast is no short feat. She is and will always be one of the best women to represent the U.S. in the Olympics.

READ: President Trump Thinks Injecting Disinfectants Could Cure COVID-19 And The Memes Are Hilarious

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