World Media

$400,000 Raised for Boy Thrown From Balcony at MOA

Raymond Boyd  Getty Images

A man at the Mall of American in Minnesota apparently threw a 5-year-old boy over the third floor railing, and so far no one knows why.

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.

A witness told WCCO that the child's mother was heard screaming after the incident.

'She was screaming "Everyone pray, everyone pray. Oh my God, my baby, someone threw him over the edge, '" witness Brian Johnson said to WCCO when describing the scene.

Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda has been charged with critically injuring the 5-year-old boy at the Mall of America.

He was arrested and has since been charged with attempted homicide.

When asked about the child's condition, police said he "is still alive".

"We do not believe that the suspect knew the family or the victim". The boy was rushed to a local hospital with "significant injuries" from the 40-foot fall, authorities said, and was still being treated 24 hours later. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family.

"Police officers have to deal with so much, so many kinds of things, but I can tell you that this is the kind of incident that they don't see very often", Potts said. Children's Hospital Minneapolis had no information to release. Police credited a concerned bystander for chasing the suspect, and the Mall security for tracking him to the transportation station where he was apprehended. "He was enjoying a day at the Mall of America with his mom and friend on Friday morning when a stranger maliciously grabbed him and threw him over the 3rd floor balcony for no apparent reason", the family friend continued.

He said that cops had given the child first aid along with members of the public. Two misdemeanors stemmed from incidents at the mall in 2015.

Court records show that Aranda has a history of convictions for misdemeanor offenses.

Witnesses told police that the alleged attacker "took off running immediately after the incident".

Three months later, Aranda was accused of throwing glasses of water and tea at a woman in a restaurant at the mall for refusing to buy him food, according to the court records.

For these past charges, Aranda was banned from the mall through July 2016.