24-year-old Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda has been charged with attempted homicide following the incident in Minnesota, which left the child with “serious injuries”
The family of a five-year-old boy who was thrown off a balcony at a shopping mall have said he is showing “real signs of recovery.”
The boy remains in intensive care with a ‘long road ahead’ a family friend said, despite new test results having been “positive”.
Police were called last Friday to reports of a man allegedly having thrown a child from a third floor balcony at the Mall of America, in Bloomington, Minnesota.
Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, was arrested outside the mall and later charged with attempted homicide.
It is not thought the suspect is of any relation to the child or his family.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help support the boy’s recovery and has so far raised more than $896,000.
In an update to the GoFundMe page, family friend Noah Hanneman wrote: ‘We continue our request for privacy as we focus on Landen and thank you for respecting our wishes. Just know that we all feel your overwhelming love, prayers and support – He is answering our prayers and they ARE working.”
Landen Hoffmann broke multiple bones and suffered a head injury when he fell nearly 40 feet, landing on the stone floor at the shopping centre.
When emergency services rushed to the area, the child had suffered “significant injuries” and was “lying in a puddle of blood”.
Aranda appeared in court on Tuesday April 16 and his bail was set at $2million.
He allegedly told police he went to the mall with the plan to kill someone as revenge for being rejected by women there for several years.
Landen and his mother were standing outside the Rainforest Cafe when it is claimed Aranda approached them, picked the child up and threw him over the balcony.
According to eyewitnesses, Landen’s mother screamed: ‘Oh my God, my baby, someone threw him over the edge.’
Landen, who is described on his GoFundMe page as “the sweetest, kindest five-year-old you will ever meet”, continues to recover in hospital.
The boy is said to have already gone through surgery to remove his spleen and will need more procedures in future.
The fundraising goal was first set at $500,000 but has now been raised to $1million.
Aranda’s uncle, Francis Aranda, told KSTP his nephew had displayed violent tendencies since childhood.
“He has a serious mental problem, he was diagnosed as a child,” the uncle claimed.
He added: “We are going to pray for that baby [Landen] because what happened is so unfortunate, but it’s going to bring light to mental illness, I hope he [Aranda] doesn’t go to jail, he needs help.”
Bloomington Police confirmed Aranda had been banned from the mall twice before, but the most recent ban had since expired.
Aranda has criminal convictions on his record, including one from 2015 for obstruction of the legal process/interfering with a peace officer, as well as convictions for fifth-degree assault, trespassing and damage to property.
A number of incidents involving Aranda at the mall, including him throwing a glass of water in a woman’s face, saw him banned form the shopping centre until July 4, 2016.
Police said there is also a warrant for Aranda’s arrest in Illinois for an assault at a Chicago restaurant when he allegedly threatened to slit a employee’s throat.