A man has been charged with attempted homicide in Friday’s unprovoked attack at the Mall of America in Minneapolis that left a 5-year-old boy with life-threatening injuries.
The boy fell three floors after being pushed or thrown over a railing, according to Bloomington cops. The child and Aranda were strangers, they said.
Brian Johnson told a local news outlet he heard the boy’s mother scream, "Everybody pray, everybody pray. Oh my God, my baby, someone threw him over the edge."
The boy was initially reported as not breathing, but is being treated at a hospital but there was no immediate word on his condition.
Aranda was arrested in the mall transit station after trying to flee, the paper reported.
Aranda was banned from the mall for a year after he was seen throwing items from the third floor to the first floor in July 2015, Fox 9 Minneapolis reported.
He violated the ban in October 2015 when he was arrested for throwing a drinking a glass at woman at a restaurant, the station reported. He was banned again from the mall until December 2017.
Aranda was panhandling at the time, according to the Star-Tribune. He was ordered to get a mental health evaluation as part of his sentence in that case.
The Mall of America issued a statement Friday: “This was a senseless act and words cannot truly express our profound shock and sadness.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.