Published: Wed, April 17, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

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

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

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.

Aranda, who was was banned from the mall in the past, was "looking for someone to kill" on the day he tossed the boy over the balcony, police said, reported CBS News.

Freeman said prosecutors will seek a $2 million bond to hold Aranda in jail for now, and "would pursue a longer sentence based on the aggravating factors of particular cruelty, the vulnerability of the boy and committing the violent act in front of other children and the boy's mother", according to a statement from his office.

KSTP's Brett Hoffland said the court appearance lasted about five minutes. When the victim's mother saw Aranda, whom she had never seen before, approaching, she reportedly asked if they should move out of his way. Donations for the family have poured in and amounted to more than $685,000 as of Tuesday morning, blowing past the GoFundMe campaign goal of $500,000. The child plunged nearly 40 feet and is fighting for his life in a Minneapolis hospital with head trauma and multiple broken bones.

Aranda is set to be in court again on May 14.

The family's attorney Stephen Tillitt said the boy is still hospitalized in critical condition and his family is asking for privacy. His plan was to throw an adult over the balcony, but he admitted he chose the young boy instead.

Aranda then ran off and was caught by police outside of the mall.

Aranda is charged with attempted homicide.

The boy was thrown from the third-floor balcony of the mall and chosen at random.

He was located on a light rail train at the mall, waiting for it to depart, according to the complaint.

Aranda has two past convictions for assaults at the mall, both in 2015, including one in which he threw a glass of water and glass of tea at a woman who refused to buy him something.

"Defendant indicated he had been coming to the Mall for several years and had made efforts to talk to women in the Mall, but had been rejected, and the rejection caused him to lash out and be aggressive", the complaint said.

Aranda's court-appointed attorney said Aranda has been in mental health court before, and said once he gets all the state's evidence he'll work to determine the best outcome. He also has had arrests in IL, including on charges of assault and theft.

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