Man Confesses to Throwing Boy Off Balcony; Went to Mall of America With Intent to Kill
Minneapolis, MN (KROC-AM News) - The man who threw a young boy off a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America last week has confessed to the crime and told investigators he knew his actions were wrong.
The Hennepin County Attorney's Office today charged 24-year-old Emmanuel Aranda with first-degree attempted murder. County Attorney Mike Freeman also indicated his prosecutors would pursue a sentence longer than recommended by state guidelines based on aggravating factors of particular cruelty, the vulnerability of the victim, and the commission of the violent act in front of other children and the child's mother.
“This crime has shocked the community,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said. “That a child, with his mother, at a safe public area like a mall, could be violently attacked for no reason is chilling for everyone. Our victim advocates are working with the family during this very difficult time for them. We charged Mr. Aranda with the most severe crime that the evidence allowed.”
Aranda is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Tuesday. Freeman says his office will request his bail be set at $2 million.
The criminal complaint says the boy and his mother were outside the Rain Forest Café along the 3rd-floor balcony when Aranda approached them and stood close enough that the mother asked if they should move. That's when Aranda picked up the 5-year-old boy and threw him over the railing. He took off running and shoved a witness who attempted to stop him up against the wall. Minutes later, police officers apprehended Aranda on a light rail train outside the shopping center.
After he was read his Miranda rights, Aranda told investigators he had been coming to the mall for years and tried to speak to women, but they rejected him. He indicated that made him lash out and act aggressively. He also told investigators that he went to the Mall of America on Thursday intending to kill an adult, but that did not "work out," and he returned Friday and chose the boy instead.
The family of the young victim issued a statement sincerely thanking the community for the outpouring of support. It also indicates the child is currently in critical condition and the family is beginning a long journey to recovery. Earlier reports stated the boy suffered numerous fractured bones and internal injuries that will require multiple surgeries. A Go-Fund-Me website set up to benefit the child and his family has raised over a half-million dollars.
News update: Rochester Woman Caught Stealing Vacuums From Target