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Child Possibly Thrown or Pushed from Balcony at MOA, Suspect in Custody

16 April 2019
Child Possibly Thrown or Pushed from Balcony at MOA, Suspect in Custody

A 5-year-old suffered "significant injuries" after falling from the third floor of the famed Mall of America in Minnesota and may have been thrown or pushed, according to police, who cited witnesses. The child was treated at the scene and transported to the hospital.

Aranda lives in the Bloomington area and has a series of arrests and convictions related to the mall.

He said police responded to the southeast court at the mall around 10:17 a.m.

The suspect was identified by police as 24-year-old Twin Cities resident Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, cops said.

"(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.

A woman who works at a nearby store and who did not want to be identified said she heard loud screams, went outside the store and saw the boy hit the ground. "Oh my God, my baby, someone threw him over the edge, '" Brian Johnson told WCCO.

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. He also refused to give his name to police and resisted arrest. But three months later he was accused of returning and throwing a glass at a woman in a mall restaurant. The complaint says Aranda approached a woman who was waiting for the restaurant to open and asked her to buy him something. He had two previous trespass notices ordering him to stay away from the Mall of America, according to the Star Tribune newspaper in Minneapolis. Police said they are unaware of a possible motive.

Police said that the incident appears to be isolated. "But as to why he did that, is still something we're looking into and trying to figure out".

No details were immediately available about the child's condition.

Get the day's breaking stories, weather forecast, and more sent straight to your inbox every morning. Attractions include Nickelodeon Universe indoor amusement park and Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium.

A portion of the mall was expected to remain cordoned off Friday as officers processed the scene.

In 2015, the al-Shabab extremist group called for an attack on the Mall of America and other shopping centres in a video.

Court records list the man's recent residences as the Salvation Army's Harbor Light Center in Minneapolis, a homeless shelter, and Pursuit Hometel, a group home on Park Avenue that serves adult men with disabilities.