BLOOMINGTON, MN — Police say a 5-year-old boy was thrown from the third floor at the Mall of America on Friday, causing him life-threatening injuries. Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, has been charged with attempted homicide in the incident.
Aranda is an apparent stranger to the toddler, according to authorities. Bloomington police responded to the southeast court of the mall Friday at 10:17 a.m. after the child hit the first floor.
The boy was treated at the scene before being transported to Children’s Minnesota Hospital. The boy remains hospitalized.
He “is still alive,” Bloomington police chief Jeff Potts said at a press conference Saturday. “The family is requesting privacy.”
Officers were directed by witnesses at the scene Friday to a suspect who was seen running from the area immediately after the incident, authorities said.
Aranda was taken into custody in the transit station at the mall. Light rail service there was temporarily suspended.
A witness told WCCO that the child’s mother was screaming that someone threw her child from the balcony. “She was screaming, ‘Everyone pray, everyone pray. Oh my God, my baby, someone threw him over the edge,'” Brian Johnson told the outlet.
Aranda is from the metro area. Authorities believe the crime is an isolated incident.
Aranda had previously been banned from the Mall of America, according to CBS, and had been charged or convicted in previous incidents at the mall, including causing damage to stores, throwing water and tea on a woman who refused to buy him food, and throwing items off a balcony to a lower level.
A GoFundMe page has been established for the boy here.
Landon “is the sweetest kindest 5 year old you will ever meet,” the page reads. “His soul is soft and gentle and instantly brings a smile to everybody he meets. “
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