BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (FOX 9) - A five-year-old boy was critically injured after a man threw him from the third floor of the Mall of America Friday morning, according to the Bloomington Police Department. The suspect, 24-year-old Emmanuel Aranda, is now charged with attempted premeditated murder as the boy remains in the hospital.
At 10:17 a.m., police were called to the southeast corner of the mall for a child who had fallen and landed on the first floor. According to Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts, witnesses told officers a man threw the child from the third floor balcony, then took off running. Police estimate the fall is just under 40 feet.
Officers rendered aid to the boy and he was taken to Children's Hospital where he is still being treated.
The suspect was arrested and is currently in custody. Potts said there is no relationship between the suspect and the child or the child's family. Investigators are working to determine what led to the boy being thrown.
During a press conference Saturday, Chief Potts said a witness tried to stop the suspect from running away. Police caught the suspect near the transit station.
Officials believe this was an isolated incident and there is no danger to the public. The investigation is ongoing.
The Police Chief added that, "at this time, our investigation has not revealed anything to lead us to believe that race is a factor in this case."
Suspect previously barred from Mall of America
Chief Potts said the suspect had three run-ins with Bloomington officers back in 2015, but had not had any contact since.
According to court records, the suspect has been previously barred from the Mall of America. A criminal complaint from July of 2015 states he was taken into custody after he was seen throwing items from the upper level of the mall to the lower level. Following that incident, he was convicted of obstructing a legal process by interfering with a police officer.
He was also convicted of fifth-degree assault, trespassing and interfering with a police officer for an incident in October of 2015. The charges state he threw a drinking glass at a customer at Twin City Grill in the Mall of America. Police learned at that time he had an existing trespass notice prohibiting him from the Mall until July of 2016. As part of his probation for the assault in the restaurant, he was barred from visiting the Mall of America until Dec. 29, 2017.
A GoFundMe has been set up for the boy, which can be found here.
Statement from Mall of America
"This was a senseless act and words cannot truly express our profound shock and sadness. Our immediate and only concern is for the wellbeing of the family and the child, as well as for any individuals who may have witnessed the incident. We have counseling services available for anyone who may need assistance. We know that this is a concerning event for all of us. As the Bloomington Police Department continues to investigate how and why this isolated incident happened, we will provide our full cooperation."