Man arrested after boy falls from balcony at United States shopping centre

Cheryl Sanders
April 14, 2019

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.

"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", according to the post on GoFundMe. "The child did suffer significant injuries", Police Chief Potts said during the press conference.

A witness at the Bloomington mall told WCCO that a woman was screaming that someone threw her child from the third-floor balcony. He said she was screaming, "Everybody pray, everybody pray".

It has been reported that Landen Hoffmann from Woodbury, Minnesota, was tossed to the marble ground beneath the balcony on Friday (12 April) as his mum screamed: "Oh my God, my baby - someone threw him over the edge".

Aranda, who police said took off running after the incident, was found inside the mall's transit station and arrested.


A suspect remains in custody and faces a possible charge of attempted murder.

The child's mother asked everyone to pray, witnesses said, and security guards, patrons and police began performing CPR.

In a statement, the police force said: "At this time the suspect does not appear to be known to the victim or to the victim's family".

Potts said Bloomington police had not had any contact with the suspect since 2015, until Friday's incident. "He is still receiving care".

The Mall of America, home to 330 stores, is located in the city of Bloomington, just south of Minneapolis.


Court records show the man was again charged with misdemeanor assault in 2017 and failed to appear at a hearing.

"We think this is a very isolated event", Potts said. In another, he allegedly threw a glass at a woman at a mall restaurant. Potts also pointed out that there had been prior convictions, and said that Aranda had previously been on a trespass notice at the Mall of America but that such notices usually expire after six-month or one-year increments - Aranda's prior arrests were in 2015.

Aranda was banned from the mall for one year.

That August, Aranda was arrested without incident after police responded to a call that a man had been seen smashing computer parts at a local library, according to court documents obtained by WCCO.


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