Police say a Minnesota man, who is in custody for throwing a 5-year-old from a mall balcony, was upset about being rejected by women there.
CBS News reports Emmanuel Aranda, 24, threw a little boy named Landen from a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America on Friday.
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The victim’s mother told officers that as her group was standing outside of the Rainforest Cafe, she noticed the suspect standing close to them. In response, she asked Aranda if they were in his way. According to the complaint, Aranda retaliated by suddenly picking up her son and throwing him over the railing.
Brian Johnson, a witness, told CBS Minnesotta of Landen’s mom:
“She was screaming ‘Everyone pray, everyone pray. Oh my God, my baby, someone threw him over the edge.’”
Officers arrested Aranda on a light rail train at the mall before it departed, CBS News reports. While speaking with police, Aranda admitted to throwing Landen from the balcony. Further, he told police he’d intended to kill an adult the day before, but it didn’t “work out.”
The complaint states:
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.
However, this wasn’t Aranda’s first violent outburst. In fact, he’d previously been banned from the mall for two incidents that occurred in 2015.
In July of 2015, he was charged after causing damage inside of stores, throwing objects from a balcony, and resisting arrest. In October of that year, he allegedly threw a glass of water and a glass of tea at a woman who refused to pay for his food at a mall restaurant.
Further, in an unrelated mall incident, Aranda was charged for destroying a Minneapolis library’s computers in August 2015. In that criminal complaint, he reportedly told officers that “he has some anger issues,” but “it does not happen all the time.”
In a 2014 incident, Aranda avoided jail time after reportedly beating a restaurant employee with a phone and pulling out a knife when she threatened to call the police. After he pleaded guilty, a judge sentenced him to 18 months of probation.
Currently, police have charged Aranda for attempted premeditated first-degree murder in regards to Friday’s incident.
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After a 40-foot plunge, Landen remains in critical condition, FOX 8 reports. CBS News reports he suffered head trauma and multiple broken bones following the fall.
A GoFundMe has been set up “in relation to his healing process.” According to the GoFundMe, Landen is a “soft and gentle” soul, who loves soccer and playing with friends and family. Supporters have donated over $746,000 to the account, exceeding the family’s goal of $500,000.