The man who allegedly threw a 5-year-old boy from the balcony at the Mall of America told authorities he was “looking for someone to kill” after he became angry when a woman rejected him, USA Today reported.
Police are charging Emmanuel Aranda, 24, of Minneapolis, with attempted premeditated first-degree murder, a criminal complaint showed.
The incident occurred on Friday. Aranda allegedly grabbed the boy — who was standing next to his mother — and threw him from a third-floor balcony in the mall, according to official records filed Monday.
Authorities reported that Aranda had attempted to run away after throwing the boy, but was apprehended and was taken to the Hennepin County Jail. Authorities were able to identify Aranda through witness testimony and security footage of the attack.
The boy, who is only known as Landen, suffered massive head trauma in addition to broken arms and legs. The boy is fighting for his life in a Minneapolis hospital after falling almost 40 feet.
A GoFundMe page started by a family friend reported that the boy’s condition had changed “very little.”
Aranda is expected to make a court appearance on Tuesday afternoon. Prosecutors, who will reportedly seek bail of $2 million, are also looking at a longer sentence for Aranda because of the “particular cruelty” of the crime, WCCO reported.
HORRIBLE: Emmanuel Aranda, 24, told police he planned to kill an adult because they usually stand near the balcony, but he chose the 5-year-old boy instead. https://t.co/kIES4bNSVK— Fox 35 News (@Fox35News) April 15, 2019
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement that the crime had “shocked the community,” the Duluth News Tribune reported.
“That a child, with his mother, at a safe public area like a mall, could be violently attacked for no reason is chilling for everyone. Our victim advocates are working with the family during this very difficult time for them. We charged Mr. Aranda with the most severe crime that the evidence allowed.”
Aranda has a history of misdemeanor convictions, and had even been banned from the mall at one point. However, he was not banned when he threw the boy from the balcony.
Aranda was arrested at the mall in July of 2015 after reportedly throwing an object from the third level and then resisting arrest, the Duluth News Tribune detailed.
The following October, he harassed a woman in a restaurant, violating a no-trespass order. When management became involved with the incident, he reportedly threw water and tea at the woman. Police arrested Aranda, and pressed forward with six misdemeanor charges.
Bloomington Police Chief Jeffrey Potts said in a press conference on Saturday that some of Aranda’s previous cases were handled through a mental health court, but he did not specify which ones.