Man Accused Of Throwing Child From Mall Balcony Had Been Banned From Location

The boy is hospitalized with “significant injuries;” the suspect has been charged with attempted homicide.

April 15, 2019
Mug shot of Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda [Bloomington Police Department]

Photo by: Mug shot of Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda [Bloomington Police Department]

Mug shot of Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda [Bloomington Police Department]

By: Mike McPadden

BLOOMINGTON, MN — On Friday, April 12, a stranger allegedly grabbed a five-year-old boy on the third floor of the Mall of America and threw him from a 40-foot-high balcony.

Police arrested the suspect on site, and said he had previously been arrested at the mall twice and banned from the location for one year. The child survived, but sustained “significant injuries” and remains hospitalized.

Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, is accused of throwing the five-year-old over the railing in view of the child’s mother. The boy landed on the first floor, and several shoppers reportedly attempted to perform CPR on him. Initial emergency calls reported that the boy was not breathing.

Upstairs, Aranda allegedly tried to run away, but witnesses said bystanders stopped him and the police showed up quickly.

Tina Hailey, who had been shopping nearby, told the Minnesota Star Tribune that she heard the boy’s mother scream uncontrollably and say, “Oh, my God! Pray for my son!” Hailey added, “I won’t forget it. It was horrific.”

Authorities have since revealed that Aranda had been arrested three times in 2015 for violent incidents, two of which occurred at the Mall of America, leading him to be banned for one year from the shopping center.

Police do not believe Aranda knew or had any other connection to the boy or his family. No motive has been suggested or specified.

According to court documents obtained by WCCO, in July 2015, police arrested Aranda after he was spotted “throwing things off of the upper level of the mall to the lower level.”

In addition, an employee at the Bare Minerals outlet also told officers that Aranda had “walked into the store, and without saying anything, swept his hand across a display table, knocking off and breaking” multiple items.

Aranda was convicted of convicted of fifth-degree assault and interfering with an officer, and was ordered not to return to the Mall of America for one year.

In August 2015, police arrested Aranda for allegedly smashing $5,000 worth of computers at a local library. He reportedly told investigators he did so because “he got angry after he read something on Facebook.”

Court records indicate Aranda was sentenced to 28 days in jail, and ordered to pay restitution and take anger-management classes.

The final 2015 incident occurred in October, when Arana allegedly threw glasses of water and tea at a woman inside a restaurant at the Mall of America. He pleaded guilty to fifth-degree assault and interfering with an officer.

In the years since, records indicate Aranda has been arrested and convicted for multiple misdemeanor offenses, such as six busts for riding public transportation without paying within the past six months. Aranda also has a felony conviction for first-degree property damage.

At the time of the incident on Friday, police said an active warrant had been issued for his arrest related to a 2017 assault case.

Aranda is expected to be formally charged with attempted homicide this week, possibly as early as Monday.

Authorities have not specified the extent or nature of the victim’s injuries. The boy’s family has asked the public and the press to respect his privacy by refraining from using his photos or his name in reports.

A GoFundMe account has been established to aid in the child’s recovery. As of Sunday evening, it had raised more than $490,000.

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