Two days after a 5-year-old boy sustained life-threatening injuries when he as flung him off a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America in Minnesota, a GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $436,000.
"He was enjoying a day at the Mall of America with his mom and friend on Friday morning when a stranger maliciously grabbed him and threw him over the 3rd floor balcony for no apparent reason". Police Chief Jeff Potts said he couldn't reveal details about the child's condition Saturday afternoon.
A witness said he heard a woman screaming that her child was thrown off the balcony, WCCO reported.
He said she was screaming, "Everybody pray, everybody pray. Oh my God, my baby, someone threw him over the edge, '" witness Brian Johnson said to WCCO when describing the scene.
Aranda, who lives in the Bloomington area, has a police record, including several arrests and convictions stemming from incidents at the Mall of America.
Police said the 24-year-old man is not known to the child, or the child's family.
"At this time we do not believe there is a relationship between the suspect and the child or the family of the child, and we are actively investigating as to why this incident occurred", Potts said at a briefing just outside the mall.
The child, Landen Hoffmann of Woodbury, Minnesota, fell over forty feet and suffered significant injuries, according to authorities.
In the meantime, please send up a prayer for the little boy.
Onlookers said a woman began shouting after the child was attacked.
Potts said Bloomington police had not had any contact with the suspect since 2015, until Friday's incident.
According to Potts, witnesses told police the person suspected of pushing or throwing the child 'took off running immediately after the incident'. Police credited a concerned bystander for chasing the suspect, and the Mall security for tracking him to the transportation station where he was apprehended.
He's now at the Bloomington Police Department, Potts said, and authorities don't believe there is any further threat to the public.
'We have counseling services available for anyone who may need assistance.
Aranda's previous ban from the mall was not in effect at the time of the incident. The charges state he threw a drinking glass at a customer at Twin City Grill in the Mall of America.
Jail records don't list an attorney for Aranda.
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