Stranger Is Charged in Child's Plunge Inside Mall of America

Emmanuel Aranda is accused of throwing a child from a balcony
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2019 6:30 AM CDT
This undated photo provided by the Bloomington, Minn., Police Department, shows Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, who was arrested in connection with an incident at the Mall of America where a 5-year-old boy plummeted...   (Bloomington Police Department via AP)

(Newser) – The man accused of pushing or throwing a child from a third-floor balcony at Minnesota's Mall of America had twice been ordered to stay away from the mall. Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, who was arrested in the mall transit station after fleeing the Friday incident, is being held in suspicion of attempted homicide. Police say there does not seem to be any connection between the 24-year-old suspect and the young victim or the victim's family. Aranda has a record of mental health issues and a long criminal history, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

In 2015, he was issued a trespass notice that required him to stay away from the Mall of America, but ignored it, and was arrested later that year for harassing and throwing glasses at restaurant diners at the mall. He was convicted in that case and ordered again to stay away from the mall. As for the boy who fell 30 feet or more onto a stone floor Friday morning, no information was available on his condition. Initial accounts over emergency audio indicated he wasn't breathing, and passers-by attempted to revive him. "I won’t forget it. It was horrific," says one witness. "I hope he survived." CBS Minnesota reports that Aranda had once been arrested after throwing items from a mall balcony. (Read more Mall of America stories.)

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