A five-year-old boy remains hospitalized days after a stranger picked him up and threw him over the third-floor railing at the Mall of America, sending him crashing two floors below.
Police tracked down and arrested Emmanuel Aranda, 24, near the mall’s transit station. Authorities say he was a total stranger to the child when he dropped him 40 feet.
A GoFundMe page raising money for the boy’s family says, “He has many surgeries ahead in his life to try to get back to a normal life for a young, vibrant boy.” An update on the site from Sunday said, “He had a peaceful sleep and is still continuing to fight his courageous battle, he’s a strong survivor!”
The suspect, meanwhile, has a history with the Mall of America, having once been banned from the Minnesota establishment.
Aranda was prohibited from entering the Mall of America for one year following a July 2015 complaint where he was accused of throwing items over the third-floor balcony. According to the complaint, Aranda refused to cooperate with officers who asked him for identification, then struggled when they placed him under arrest. Police then found out that Aranda was also suspected of damaging property in a store.
Despite being barred from the mall for a year after this, Aranda was charged with trespass and other offenses when police said he returned a few months later, following two women into a mall restaurant. After repeatedly asking them to buy him food (and them declining) he allegedly threw a glass of water and another glass of tea at one of the women.
By the time Aranda allegedly threw the child on Friday, the order to stay away from the mall had was no longer in effect.
“Since the incidents happened in 2015, that trespass period has expired,” Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts told ABC News.
Aranda is currently facing a charge of attempted homicide.
[Image via ABC screengrab]