Man accused of tossing boy from Mall of America balcony faces judge

Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda

Enlarge Image Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda AP

In his first court appearance since Friday's incident, when he allegedly dropped the boy almost 40 feet (12 meters), Emmanuel Aranda was charged with attempted premeditated first-degree murder, Hennepin County Attorney's office spokesman Chuck Laszewski said.

After being arrested on a light rail train, Aranda reportedly told police he was frustrated after years of being rejected by women and wanted to hurt someone to express his anger.

Freeman said prosecutors will seek a $2 million bond to hold Aranda in jail for now, and "would pursue a longer sentence based on the aggravating factors of particular cruelty, the vulnerability of the boy and committing the violent act in front of other children and the boy's mother", according to a statement from his office. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Tuesday afternoon, April 16, 2019.

About 10:15 a.m. Friday, Aranda was back at the mall, where he allegedly approached the victim and the victim's mother as they stood outside the Rainforest Café on the third floor with another parent and child.

She asked Aranda if they were in his way, and without warning, he grabbed her son and threw him over. A GoFundMe page set up for Landen had attracted more than £500,000 in donations as of Monday. The child plunged nearly 40 feet and is fighting for his life in a Minneapolis hospital with head trauma and multiple broken bones.

Stephen Tillitt, an attorney representing the victim's family, told reporters the child remains in critical condition. He chose the boy instead, and admitted throwing him from the building's third tier, the complaint said.

After being read his Miranda rights, Arnada confessed that it was he who threw the boy off the balcony.

Witnesses attempted to stop Aranda from fleeing, but he got away. Aranda has two past convictions for assaults at the mall, both in 2015.

"Defendant indicated he had been coming to the Mall for several years and had made efforts to talk to women in the Mall, but had been rejected, and the rejection caused him to lash out and be aggressive", a complaint said. It also states there is a warrant for his arrest from IL for assault.

Police said Aranda had a history of mental issues and arrests on relatively minor charges.

Police have not identified the boy, but said he suffered life-threatening injuries from the fall at the Bloomington mall, a major tourist attraction in the state.

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