The man suspected of throwing or pushing a 5-year-old over a third-story balcony inside Minneapolis’ Mall of America told authorities he was upset a woman rejected him, and went to the shopping center “looking for someone to kill.’
The child reportedly plunged 40 feet and was rushed to a nearby hospital with multiple broken bones and head trauma. Emmanuel Aranda, 24, has been charged with attempted premeditated first-degree in Friday’s attack. (April 12)
According to reports, Aranda was banned from the mall at one point for destroying items and throwing tea at a woman who refused to buy him food. The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office confirmed Aranda is expected to make his first court appearance Tuesday. (April 16)
The viciousness and randomness of the crime has frightened many who frequent the mall.
“That a child, with his mother, at a safe public area like a mall, could be violently attacked for no reason is chilling for everyone, “Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said. “We charged Mr. Aranda with the most severe crime that the evidence allowed.”
After the attack, police say Aranda ran but was later found in the mall’s transit station.
Originally, Aranda planned to kill an adult but his plans were foiled. He returned that Friday and approached the child and his mother outside of the Rain Forest Cafe. The mother told cops she’d never seen Aranda and before she could move away, he grabbed the child.
Aranda told law enforcement he knew his intentions were wrong but was tired of being rejected by women he tried to pick up at the mall.
Prosecutors will ask his bail be set at $2 million.