MINNEAPOLIS -- A 24-year-old Twin Cities man is being held by Bloomington police on suspicion of attempted homicide after he threw or pushed a 5-year-old boy from a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America on Friday morning, police said.
Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda was arrested in the mall transit station after fleeing the scene of the child's fall, Bloomington police said.
The boy was taken by ambulance from the mall to Children's Hospital in Minneapolis. No further information on his condition was available.
Tina Hailey of Burnsville was walking with her husband and had just rounded the corner on the mall's first floor near Macy's when she heard screams.
"Oh, my God." Pray for my son," she heard the mother yelled out.
The mother screamed uncontrollably and appeared to be in shock, Hailey said.
"She didn't know what to do. Nobody was helping her," she added.
Hailey, who has a 4-year-old grandson, said the screams and the sight of those working to resuscitate the boy will likely stay with her for some time.
"I won't forget it. It was horrific," she said. "I hope he survived."
Police don't know why the child was launched over the railing, Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts said, adding that there doesn't seem to be any connection between the victim, his family and Aranda. Potts said he didn't know whether the victim's family is from Minnesota or visiting from elsewhere.