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What we know about the man accused of throwing boy from MOA balcony

A 24-year-old is in custody awaiting charges of attempted murder.
Emmanuel Aranda

The man suspected of throwing a child from a third floor balcony at the Mall of America is awaiting charges of attempted murder.

The victim, a 5-year-old boy from the local area, remains in Children's Hospital in Minneapolis, where he is still undergoing treatment for his injuries.

Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, is now being held in Hennepin County Jail on pending charges of attempted murder, after the incident at the Bloomington mall on Friday morning.

A decision on formal charges is expected to be made by noon on Monday.

"This is a horrific situation," said Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts on Saturday. "The family and this child are in our thoughts and prayers and I know the family appreciates all the thoughts and prayers as they hope for a full recovery of this child."

The boy was dropped from the third floor balcony, landing almost 40 feet below on the first floor, and was rushed to Children's Hospital in Minneapolis with what police described as "significant injuries."

Police believe there is no relationship between the boy and Aranda, suggesting the attack was random.

Potts said that the family is requesting privacy.

Details that have emerged since the suspect's arrest reveal he has a history of criminal incidents at the Mall of America.

Previous arrest records show that Aranda, who is from the metro area, was taken into custody in July 2015 for throwing things off the upper level of the mall to the lower level, Potts said.

He also caused damage within a store at the mall during the same incident, and was subsequently the subject of a trespass order that banned him from the mall till July 2016.

But he broke that order in October 2015, when he allegedly threw glasses within the Twin Cities Grill restaurant at the mall, and was panhandling a woman who was waiting for the restaurant to open.

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In September 2016 he was convicted of obstructing the legal process/interfering with a peace officer, a gross misdemeanor that saw him sentenced to spend time at the Hennepin County Workhouse.

The Star Tribune reports that he also had an active warrant out for his arrest following a 2017 assault case in Hennepin County.

Aranda fled the scene after the boy was thrown from the balcony, but was chased and apprehended by officers at the transit center of the Mall of America a short time later.

"This is an isolated incident and the Mall of America is a safe place to go," Potts said.

A widely-shared Facebook post asking for prayers for the child has identified him as a 5-year-old named Landon, and as of Friday night said he was in surgery.

This has not been independently confirmed, however, with police choosing not to release the boy's name at this stage.

A GoFundMe set up apparently in the name of the boy and his family has raised more than $20,000 in the space of just a few hours.

BMTN doesn't typically name crime suspects until they have been charged, however made an exception in this case given where this happened, the subsequent public interest in this incident, and the fact he has already been widely identified by other Twin Cities media.

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