Attorney: Boy attacked at Mall of America still in critical condition

17 April, 2019, 16:26 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Emmanuel Aranda             
    CBS Minnesota

The family of Landen, the 5-year-old boy who was tossed from a Mall of America balcony, issued an update on GoFundMe as the crowdfunding page raised $675,000 dollars as of April 16.

The fundraising team identified the boy by his first name, Landen, saying he is "the sweetest kindest 5 year old you will ever meet".

The man accused of throwing him over the railing, Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, appeared in court Tuesday and faces a charge of attempted pre-meditated murder.

Emmanuel Aranda, 24, said little during the hearing in a courtroom at the Hennepin County jail.

One positive development has been the outpouring of support from Americans across the country. "I've heard it said that every new day is a good day".

"This crime has shocked the community", Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman told USA media yesterday.

"This crime has shocked the community", Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement, adding, "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". "We charged Mr. Aranda with the most severe crime that the evidence allowed".

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Stephen Tillitt, an attorney representing the victim's family, told reporters the child remains in critical condition, and said the family is thankful for the support it has received. "Please respect their great need and desire for privacy".

Aranda had come "very close to them", so the mom "asked if they were in the way and should move", the complaint said.

About 10:15 a.m. Friday, Aranda was back at the mall, where he allegedly approached the victim and the victim's mother as they stood outside the Rainforest Café on the third floor with another parent and child.

After being arrested on a light rail train, Aranda reportedly told police he was frustrated after years of being rejected by women and wanted to hurt someone to express his anger.

He did not follow through but returned to the mall Friday still intending to kill an adult.

Aranda told law enforcement he knew his intentions were wrong but was exhausted of being rejected by women he tried to pick up at the mall.

In 2015, he was arrested at the Mall of America after a police officer saw him throwing items from the mall's upper level. Aranda said that made him lash out. Court records show that Aranda had been ordered to undergo psychological evaluation or treatment after those assaults.

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