Police said a 24-year-old man was in custody after a 5-year-old boy lost three floors on Friday. Witnesses said the boy was pushed or thrown from the balcony of the Mall of America.
A witness told CBS Minnesota that a woman was screaming that someone had thrown her child off the third floor balcony. She shouted, "Everyone is praying, everyone is praying. Oh my God, my baby, someone threw it overboard, "said Brian Johnson.
CBS Minnesota reported that emergency teams could perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation and there was a large amount of blood on the floor. The child, who suffered "life-threatening injuries", was taken to a local hospital.
Police said Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda of Minneapolis was suspected of attempted homicide. The suspect apparently had no connection with the boy or his family.
Bloomington Police Chief Jeffrey Potts said the suspect fled immediately but was quickly found and arrested at the mall. Police said she was not aware of a possible motive. "At this point, we think it's an isolated incident," said Potts. "We are actively trying to understand why this has happened."
The Criminal Record of Aranda includes two convictions handed down in 2015 for obstructing judicial proceedings / interference in a peace officer, as well as convictions for fifth-degree aggression, trespassing and property damage.
The court records show that Aranda was arrested on July 4, 2015, after the police had stated that it matched the description of a man throwing objects from the top level of the Mall of America to lower level. Police said that Aranda had refused to give his name and resisted his arrest. Aranda was also charged with having entered a mall store and having spent his hand on a display table, breaking glasses.
In October 2015, Aranda was accused of throwing glasses at the Twin Cities Grill in the mall. According to the complaint, Aranda approached a woman who was waiting for the opening of the restaurant and asked her to buy something for her. The woman refused and Aranda would have thrown a glass of water in her face and a glass of tea that hit her in the leg. Aranda was undergoing an intrusion notice at the time barring him access to the mall until July 4, 2016.
It was not immediately clear if Aranda had a lawyer.
The Mall Mall of America, with an area of 4.2 million square feet, is located in Bloomington, about 16 km south of Minneapolis.