Witnesses said Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, pushed or threw the 5-year-old boy on Friday morning from the third-floor balcony of the mall's interior to the first floor, almost 40 feet below, Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts said in a news conference on Saturday, April 13.
Officers were called shortly after 10 a.m. Friday to the mall's southeast court on reports that a child had fallen from the third floor to the first floor.
"That's a pretty high fall", Bloomington Police Chief Jeffrey Potts said at a news conference Saturday in Minnesota, describing the scene and his reaction to it.
Following the incident, witness Brian Johnson told local TV station WCCO that the child's mother "was screaming, 'Everyone pray, everyone pray".
"She was screaming 'Everyone pray, everyone pray".
Twenty-four-year-old Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, of Minneapolis, is jailed on a suspicion of attempted homicide charge.
Aranda lives in the Bloomington area and has had a series of arrests and convictions related to the mall.
Bloomington Police reported that the victim was 5 years old.
"At this time, we do not believe that there is a relationship between the child or the family of the child", the Police Chief said on Friday.
"The child has been transported to the hospital and has been receiving care".
In the meantime, please send up a prayer for the little boy. "He was enjoying a day at the Mall of America with his mom and friend on Friday morning when a stranger maliciously grabbed him and threw him over the 3rd floor balcony for no apparent reason", the family friend continued.
For these past charges, Aranda was banned from the mall through July 2016.
Witnesses told police that the alleged attacker "took off running immediately after the incident".
Potts said on Saturday there were "a lot of witnesses that were helpful" in the incident Friday.
Court records show Aranda was arrested on July 4, 2015, after police said he matched the description of a man throwing things off the upper level of the Mall of America to the lower level. We have counseling services available for anyone who may need assistance. Two misdemeanors stemmed from incidents at the mall in 2015.
Police are still investigating what the motive was as well.
Aranda asked the woman to buy him something while they sat outside the restaurant, waiting for it to open.