An apparent stranger threw a 5-year-old boy nearly 40 feet from a mall balcony, police say

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A 24-year-old man was arrested Friday in an incident in which a 5-year-old child may have been pushed or thrown from a balcony at the Mall of America, police said. (April 12)
AP

Police say a 5-year-old boy remains hospitalized on Saturday after he was thrown by an apparent stranger from a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America near Minneapolis on Friday.

The boy suffered serious injuries in the nearly 40 foot fall, Bloomington police Chief Jeffrey Potts said Saturday. 

Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, of Minneapolis, was arrested after the attack and has been jailed on a suspicion of attempted homicide charge. Police do not believe Aranda knew the victim or his family before the incident.

“(Through) our investigative work and witnesses that we’ve spoken to, we feel confident saying that the suspect threw the child off of the third floor,” CNN quotes Potts. “But as to why he did that, is still something we’re looking into and trying to figure out.”

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Aranda has previously been banned from the mall — but the ban was not in effect at the time of the incident. He has a history of misdemeanor convictions; some cases were handled through a mental health court, Potts said. 

The Washington Post reports Aranda was arrested at the mall in 2015 on misdemeanor charges including property damage and disorderly conduct after police say he threw items from the upper mall level and broke items at a store.

An attorney for Aranda is not listed in jail records.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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