Boy thrown from Mall of America balcony still hospitalized

Minneapolis Police on April 12 2019

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.

A GoFundMe page was started by the child's family friend to help cover the "immense" medical and rehabilitation costs. The GoFundMe campaign had raised almost $400,000 as of Sunday morning.

Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts said at a midday Saturday news conference that the 24-year-old male suspect has been cooperative with investigators and remains in custody at the Hennepin County Jail. The child suffered life-threatening injuries and was taken to an area hospital. The family is requesting privacy, I think that we just want to acknowledge that this is a horrific situation.

In July 2015, he was arrested at the Mall of America on three misdemeanor charges - property damage, disorderly conduct and interfering with a peace officer - after police say Aranda threw items from the upper level of the mall to the lower level. In another, he allegedly threw a glass at a woman at a mall restaurant.

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Potts says criminal charges will likely be filed against Aranda by mid-day on Monday.

On Saturday, Potts declined to give specifics about Aranda's mental health but said some of the previous cases had been handled in mental health courts.

"We feel confident in saying that the suspect threw the child off of the third floor, but as to why he did that is still something we're looking into and trying to figure out", Potts said. Police do not believe there was any connection between the family and Aranda. Both parents were at his bedside in the hospital, Potts said.

The man accused of the heinous act - identified as Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, - was later found hiding inside the mall's transit station.

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Mall of America officials said any more information about the incident will come from police. As the Bloomington Police Department continues to investigate how and why this isolated incident happened, we will provide our full cooperation'.

According to court records, the suspect has been previously barred from the Mall of America. Police learned at that time he had an existing trespass notice prohibiting him from the Mall until July of 2016.

Aranda in that case told authorities he got "angry after he read something on the Facebook" and so smashed five computers, screens and keyboards, court records show, citing a recorded statement.

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