Witnesses said Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, pushed or threw the 5-year-old boy on Friday morning from the third-floor balcony of the mall's interior to the first floor, almost 40 feet below, Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts said in a news conference on Saturday, April 13.
"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", according to the post on GoFundMe.
The child was rushed to a hospital after officers and passers-by provided aid at the scene, Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts said.
Witnesses told police the child had been either thrown or pushed and that the suspect had taken off running.
"'She was screaming 'Everyone pray, everyone pray. Oh, my God, my baby, someone threw him over the edge, '" Brian Johnson told WCCO.
According to Hennepin County Jail records, Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda was booked on probable cause of attempted homicide.
Aranda lives in the Bloomington area and has had a series of arrests and convictions related to the mall.
The child's mother asked everyone to pray, witnesses said, and security guards, patrons and police began performing CPR.
At the news conference Saturday, Potts said his police department had an additional encounter with Aranda, in which he refused to pay his bill at a restaurant.
Child attack suspect had previous Mall of America arrests
Police do not believe there is a relationship between the suspect and the child and the incident appeared to be isolated. The suspect was identified by police as 24-year-old Twin Cities resident Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, cops said.
(Bloomington Police Department) Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda is pictured in this photo released by Bloomington, Minneapolis, Police on April, 12, 2019.
"The child is still alive and receiving care", he said.
'Please pray for my cousins attractive son Landen, ' she wrote.
He's now at the Bloomington Police Department, Potts said, and authorities don't believe there is any further threat to the public.
Bloomington police Chief Jeffrey Potts described the incident as a "horrific" situation but could not give any updates to the boy's health. A witness tried to stop him, and officers soon after apprehended and arrested the Minneapolis man in the mall's transit station.
"We have counselling services available for anyone who may need assistance".
Police are still investigating what the motive was as well. The charges state he threw a drinking glass at a customer at Twin City Grill in the Mall of America.