MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A child was rushed to a hospital Friday morning after reportedly being thrown from a balcony at the Mall of America, and one person has been taken into custody.
A witness at the Bloomington mall told WCCO that a woman was screaming that someone threw her child from the third floor balcony. This was near the southeast corner of the mall.
“She was screaming ‘Everyone pray, everyone pray. Oh my God, my baby, someone threw him over the edge,'” Brian Johnson said.
Bloomington Police reported that the victim was 5 years old.
A source at the scene told WCCO that the person who threw, or possibly pushed, the child fled the mall and was apprehended near the light rail station. Later Friday afternoon, police identified the suspect as 24-year-old Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, who is from the metro area.
Police said they do not, at this time, believe Aranda to have been related to the victim or known by the family. The police chief said this appears to have been an isolated incident, and there is no threat to the public.
Aranda, who is being held on suspected attempted homicide, had been banned from Mall of America in the past, and was charged and convicted of misdemeanors in two separate incidents at the mall in 2015. In July of that year, Aranda was charged with causing damage inside stores, throwing items off of a balcony to a lower level and resisting arrest. Aranda was then charged in October of that year for throwing a glass of water and a glass of tea at a woman inside of Twin City Grill after she refused to buy him food.
Aranda was also charged in August of 2015 with destroying computers in a north Minneapolis library. According to the criminal complaint, Aranda told officers that “he has some anger issues,” and that, “it does not happen all the time.”
The police department is working with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office crime lab to investigate the incident, and they are also working with the mall to determine if any surveillance video exists of the incident.
Emergency crews could be seen performing CPR on the child in the southeast corner of the mall. A large amount of blood was on the floor.
Allina Health officials said an ambulance took the child to Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, and his family joined him in the afternoon.
Metro Transit interrupted Blue Line service into or out of the mall due to the police activity, but as of 11:30 a.m. had restored service on the light rail trains.
Aranda is being held by Bloomington Police Friday night, but they are expected to transfer him to the custody of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department on Saturday.