A Minneapolis man who threw a child over a third-floor balcony inside the Mall of America has been sentenced to 19 years in prison.
Local police say Aranda went to the mall on April 12 “looking for someone to kill.” The 24-year-old grew irate at his failed attempts at picking up women. Initially, he wanted to kill a woman but chose a 5-year-old boy instead.
The victim survived the 39-foot-fall but has since had several surgeries for head trauma and broken bones. While the boy’s parents remain anonymous, they say their son’s recovery has been slow but miraculous.
The child’s father read a victim impact statement in court, calling him “evil” but still forgave him.
“Your act was evil and selfish, you chose to listen to the worst parts of yourself that day,” the boy’s father said in a statement read by prosecutor Cheri Ann Townsend. “You chose evil over good and chose to take your hate and hurt out on my precious boy. That is where your impact on us stops, you will take nothing more from us.”