Mall of America suspect faces attempt murder charge after boy pushed over third floor railing
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – A man has been charged with attempted murder in Friday’s unprovoked attack at the Mall of America in Minneapolis that left a 5-year-old boy with life-threatening injuries.
Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, has a history of mental health problems and had twice been banned from the mall, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Saturday.
After being pushed or thrown over a railing, the boy fell three floors, according to Bloomington police. There was no prior relationship between the child and Aranda, authorities said. They were complete strangers.
Brian Johnson told a local news outlet he heard the boy’s mother scream, “Everybody pray, everybody pray. Oh my God, my baby, someone threw him over the edge.”
The boy was initially reported as not breathing, but is being treated at a hospital. However, there was no immediate word on his present condition.
Aranda was arrested in the mall transit station after trying to flee, the paper reported.
Aranda was banned from the mall for a year after he was seen throwing items from the third floor to the first floor in July 2015, Fox 9 Minneapolis reported.
He violated the ban in October 2015 when he was arrested for throwing a drinking glass at woman at a restaurant, the station reported. He was banned again from the mall until December 2017.
Aranda was panhandling at the time, according to the Star-Tribune. He was ordered to get a mental health evaluation as part of his sentence in that case.
The Mall of America issued a statement Friday: “This was a senseless act and words cannot truly express our profound shock and sadness.”