Police have said the boy remains in the hospital with serious injuries. There was blood; the boy was not moving.
Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts says criminal charges will likely be filed against Aranda by mid-day on Monday. "Immediately, my thoughts were: how can something like this happen?"
"I know there's been some reports and some concerns about whether or not he is still alive", Potts said. Authorities haven't released the boy's name and say his family is requesting privacy. He added that he couldn't go into detail about the child's condition.
'The child did suffer significant injuries, ' he said.
According to Hennepin County Jail records, Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda was booked on probable cause of attempted homicide.
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'This was a senseless act and words can not truly express our profound shock and sadness, ' the Mall of America said in a statement on Friday. I just can't imagine someone doing that to her!
Potts said on Saturday there were "a lot of witnesses that were helpful" in the incident Friday.
Witnesses said Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, either pushed or threw the 5-year-old boy on Friday morning from the third level of the Bloomington mall's interior to the first-level floor almost 40 feet below, police said.
In one case, he pleaded guilty to a gross misdemeanor charge of interfering with a peace officer in connection with a July 4, 2015, incident where he was seen throwing objects from the upper level off the mall.
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Aranda was chased down inside the mall and was taken into custody. Aranda had smashed five computers and keyboards "beyond repair" after he read something on Facebook that infuriated him, the man told authorities. Potts also pointed out that there had been prior convictions, and said that Aranda had previously been on a trespass notice at the Mall of America but that such notices usually expire after six-month or one-year increments - Aranda's prior arrests were in 2015.
"We do not believe that the suspect knew the family or the victim".
Potts said some of Aranda's past cases were handled through a mental health court, but would not comment further on the man's mental health status at the time of Friday's incident. The source said the victim was a young boy. Both parents were at his bedside in the hospital, Potts said.
Brian Johnson had just entered the mall when he saw the crowds of people gathered near the escalator and the boy on the ground.
In the meantime, please send up a prayer for the little boy. "Why would you single out a kid and ruin a family's life like this?"
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