The Mall of America had been open only 17 minutes Friday when the screaming started. On the first floor was a 5-year-old boy. He had been thrown from the third-floor balcony by a stranger. The boy was rushed to a hospital. “That’s a pretty high fall,” said Bloomington, Mn., Police Chief Jeffrey Potts “Immediately, my thoughts were: How can something like this happen?” The suspect, Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, fled on foot. Officers arrested the Minneapolis man in the mall’s transit station. He faces a preliminary charge of attempted homicide. Aranda has a history of assault and bad behavior at the mall that houses retail stores, restaurants, an amusement park and aquarium and draws 40 million visitors a year, the Washington Post reports.
Aranda has been banished from the mall in past years. In 2015, he was arrested there on misdemeanor charges after police say he threw items from the upper level of the mall to the lower level. He had also swept his hand across a display table at a beauty store, breaking lip gloss containers and shot glasses. Aranda was banned from the mall for one year. A month later, Aranda told authorities he has “anger issues” when he was arrested for smashing five computers and keyboards “beyond repair” at a library after he read something on Facebook that infuriated him. In October 2015, Aranda returned to the Mall of America in violation of his no-trespass order and harassed and assaulted a woman inside a restaurant. Potts said some of Aranda’s past cases were handled through a mental health court.