MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 24-year-old Minneapolis man now faces a felony charge accusing him of throwing a 5-year-old boy over a balcony at Mall Of America.
Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda faces one felony count of attempted premeditated first-degree murder in connection to the incident at MOA Friday.
According to the criminal complaint, Aranda went to the mall on Thursday with the intent to kill someone, but that it “didn’t work out”. He allegedly returned the next day, planning to kill an adult, but instead chose the boy. He allegedly threw the boy from the third-floor balcony outside the Rainforest Café.
The mother of the boy told authorities Aranda approached them and, without warning, picked the boy up and threw him over the side of the balcony. The complaint does not say why the boy was chosen by Aranda.
“This crime has shocked the community,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said. “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.”
In an interview with police, Aranda said that he had come to the mall for the past few years to talk with women, but was rejected multiple times. He said the rejection made him aggressive.
Aranda had been banned from Mall of America in the past, and was charged and convicted of misdemeanors in two separate incidents at the mall in 2015. In July of that year, Aranda was charged with causing damage inside stores, throwing items off of a balcony to a lower level and resisting arrest. Aranda was then charged in October of that year for throwing a glass of water and a glass of tea at a woman inside of Twin City Grill after she refused to buy him food.
Aranda was also charged in August of 2015 with destroying computers in a north Minneapolis library. According to the criminal complaint, Aranda told officers that “he has some anger issues,” and that, “it does not happen all the time.”
The boy was taken to Children’s Hospital and remains in critical condition.