Boy thrown from Mall of America balcony hospitalized

Sergio Conner
April 14, 2019

Witnesses said Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, pushed or threw the 5-year-old boy on Friday morning from the third-floor balcony of the mall's interior to the first floor, almost 40 feet below, Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts said in a news conference on Saturday, April 13.

Bloomington police Chief Jeffrey Potts said during a news conference that the boy fell almost 40 feet after a man who apparently didn't know the boy or his family threw him off the balcony Friday.

One eye witness told local media that "he heard a woman scream that her child had been thrown from the balcony". He said she was screaming, "Everybody pray, everybody pray. Oh my God, my baby, someone threw him over the edge, '" Brian Johnson said.

Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda has been charged with attacking a 5-year-old boy at the Mall of America Friday.

In July 2015, he was arrested at the Mall of America on three misdemeanor charges - property damage, disorderly conduct and interfering with a peace officer - after police say Aranda threw items from the upper level of the mall to the lower level.

He reiterated that the family did not know Aranda and said they "are completely clueless as to why this monster would target their family with this heinous act of violence".

Police officers gave the child first aid along with witnesses, Potts said.

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Authorities described the injuries as life-threatening but he is in stable condition at Children's Hospital Minneapolis.

"Every prayer for your family and your sweet little boy!" another couple posted a minute earlier.

'His soul is soft and gentle and instantly brings a smile to everybody he meets, ' according to the GoFundMe page.

'The child did suffer significant injuries, ' he said. He's still receiving care. He said the suspect was located at the transit station just outside of the Mall of America. Potts also pointed out that there had been prior convictions, and said that Aranda had previously been on a trespass notice at the Mall of America but that such notices usually expire after six-month or one-year increments - Aranda's prior arrests were in 2015.

Despite the incident, Potts thinks the mall is still a safe place.

Records show that Aranda has a history of assault and bad behavior at the Mall of America, a sprawling complex in the Twin Cities suburb of Bloomington, Minnesota, that hosts hundreds of retail stores, restaurants, an amusement park and aquarium and draws 40 million visitors a year. He was banned again from the mall until December 2017.

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