Police in Bloomington, Minnesota have arrested 24-year-old Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda after witnesses say a 5-year-old boy was pushed or thrown from a third floor balcony at the Mall of America. The child has suffered “life-threatening injuries” and is in critical condition.
A witness told CBS Minnesota, a woman was screaming that someone threw her child from the mall balcony. “Everyone pray, everyone pray. Oh my God, my baby, someone threw him over the edge,” says the witness. Emergency crews performed CPR on the child as he laid in a large amount of blood on the floor before he was taken to a local hospital.
Aranda is being held on suspicion of attempted homicide; he has no connection to the boy or his family. Bloomington Police Chief Jeffrey Potts said the suspect ran away but was quickly found and arrested at the mall. Police say they are unaware of a possible motive and are “actively trying to figure out why this occurred,” according to Potts.
Aranda has a string of criminal history, to include multiple incidents at the same mall. He was arrested in 2015 for throwing things off the upper level of the Mall of America to the floor level and walking into a mall store and sweeping his hand across a display table, breaking merchandise.
The same year, he was also arrested at Twin Cities Grill in the same mall for throwing a glass at a woman who refused to buy him something. At that time, Aranda was under a trespass notice, banning him from the mall until July 4, 2016. Aranda’s criminal record also includes two convictions for obstruction of the legal process/interfering with a peace officer and a separate conviction of fifth-degree assault, trespassing and damage to property.
It is unclear why Mall of America had not permanently banned Aranda from the premises, despite his multiple infractions and attempts to harm other Mall patrons in the past. According to Star Tribune, Aranda had two previous trespass notices ordering him to stay away from the Mall of America.