Well-wishers have now donated over $360,000 to the family of a 5-year-old boy who was thrown from the third floor of the Mall of America in Minnesota by a total stranger. Bloomington police Chief Jeffrey Potts told CNN on Saturday.
Witnesses told officers that the child may have been thrown or pushed and that a male suspect had taken off running.
'She was screaming "Everyone pray, everyone pray. Oh my God, my baby, someone threw him over the edge, '" a witness, Brian Johnson told WCCO-TV.
The suspect- 24-year old Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda tried to run away but was quickly arrested. In a separate 2015 incident, Aranda threw a glass at an employee at a restaurant and was arrested and charged with trespassing, fifth-degree assault, obstructing the legal process and disorderly conduct, police said.
"But when you add in the element that this was a 5-year-old child - it makes it very, very hard on everybody that was involved", he said. Police still do not believe there was any connection between the family and Aranda.
Authorities described the injuries as life-threatening but he is in stable condition at Children's Hospital Minneapolis.
Onlookers said a woman began shouting after the child was attacked. 'The child has been transported to the hospital and has been receiving care'.
"Earlier today, Mall of America security was notified of an incident involving a child falling from one of the upper floors".
Court records show that Aranda has a history of convictions for misdemeanor offenses.
"This is a horrific situation", Potts said.
'This was a senseless act and words can not truly express our profound shock and sadness, ' the Mall of America said in a statement on Friday.
According to police, the suspect is cooperating and attempted homicide charges against Aranda are expected to be filed on Monday. He had also swept his hand across a display table at the beauty store Bare Minerals, breaking lip gloss containers and shot glasses, police said. At one point, Aranda had a trespass notice banning him from the mall, but it was no longer in effect. He was banned again from the mall until December 2017.
That August, Aranda was arrested without incident after police responded to a call that a man had been seen smashing computer parts at a local library, according to court documents obtained by WCCO.
The complaint says Aranda approached a woman who was waiting for the restaurant to open and asked her to buy him something.
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