Man accused of throwing child from balcony at Mall of America had prior arrests

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The young boy who was thrown off a balcony at the Mall of America is recovering in the hospital.

The man accused of the crime is now behind bars.

At the mall, a single rose replaces the crime tape and dozens of investigators from a day before.

Friday, police say Emmanuel Aranda pushed or threw a 5-year-old boy from a third-floor balcony about a 40-foot fall.

As security rushed to the scene, police say that Aranda started running.

“Actually one witness who witnessed the incident tried to stop the suspect from fleeing, so we are very appreciative of his efforts to try to intervene and help out in a very difficult situation,” Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts said.

Police were able to track Aranda down quickly. They arrested him in the transit station in Mall of America and the mall helped them do that.

“I have to say that they are very good at using their cameras and their electronic equipment on the inside of the mall to help track and follow people in cases like this if somebody takes off running. I can say that the mall of America was very helpful in us locating the suspect as quickly as we were able to do yesterday,” Chief Potts said.

And this isn’t the first time Bloomington police have dealt with Aranda.

“Back in 2015, we had 3 prior contacts, one of them in July. That also occurred at the mall of America. He was seen throwing an object off of one of the floors. The third level,” Chief Potts said.

Another time, again at the mall, he was at a restaurant and police arrested him for throwing a glass at one of the employees.

The last contact was at a restaurant in Bloomington where Aranda refused to pay his bill.

“Our next steps in our investigative work is to just continue to work on this case. IN terms of getting it ready for submission for formal charges,” Chief Potts said.

Which they plan to submit on Monday. As for right now, they have a message for everyone worried about this 5-year-old boy.

“I just want to let everybody know, just please on behalf of the Bloomington police department, and the family of this young child, please keep them in your thoughts and prayers,” Chief Potts said.

A GoFundMe page set up to help the boy and his family has already raised more than $388,000.

Organizers say the donations will help pay for his medical and rehabilitation costs, which will include multiple surgeries.

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