Child thrown from third floor Mall of America balcony

Man is in custody after incident

By Dakin Andone, CNN
WCCO via CNN

A child was rushed to a hospital after reportedly being thrown from a balcony at the Mall of America, and one person has been taken into custody.

A 5-year-old child suffered life-threatening injuries when, according to witnesses, a man either threw or pushed the child from the third floor of the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, police said Friday.

Police Chief Jeff Potts quoted witnesses as saying the person suspected of pushing or throwing the child "took off running immediately after the incident." A suspect was soon found inside the mall's transit station and was taken into custody.

Bloomington police said later Friday that Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, was charged with attempted homicide in connection with the incident. Aranda lives in the Bloomington area, police said. He had two previous trespass notices ordering him to stay away from the Mall of America, according to the Star Tribune newspaper in Minneapolis.

Potts told reporters that police were called to the mall at 10:17 a.m. local time, and initial information suggested a child had fallen from the third level of the mall's interior to the first level.

Additional information from witnesses indicated the 5-year-old might have been pushed or thrown, Potts said.

Police officers gave the child first aid along with witnesses, Potts said.

"The child did suffer significant injuries," he said. "The child has been transported to the hospital and has been receiving care."

Police said in a later statement that the child's injuries were life-threatening.

"At this time, we do not believe that there is a relationship between the child or the family of the child," Potts said Friday, emphasizing that police believe this to be an "isolated incident."

The area where the fall occurred was closed.

A witness told CNN affiliate WCCO that the child's mother was screaming that someone had thrown her child from the balcony.

"She was screaming, 'Everyone pray, everyone pray. Oh my God, my baby, someone threw him over the edge,'" Brian Johnson told WCCO.

A Mall of America spokesperson said in a statement that any additional information about the incident would come from police.

CNN's Melissa Alonso and Amir Vera contributed to this report.

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