Man accused of tossing boy from Mall of America balcony faces judge

Clay Curtis
April 20, 2019

The man had already been banned from the Mall of America in his past: He was twice convicted in 2015 for assaults he committed at the shopping center.

Aranda's bail was kept at $2 million and an omnibus hearing was set for May 14.

The child plunged nearly 40 feet, suffering massive head trauma and broken arms and legs, the station reports.

The boy's mother told police that Aranda came up very close to her group as they stood outside the Rainforest Cafe restaurant. He asked her to buy something, but she laughed him off and said she would not.

Prosecutors say Aranda told police officers that he had gone to the mall the prior day "looking for someone to kill", but it did not "work out".

Prosecutors also said in court filings on Monday that Aranda was wanted on a warrant for assault in the state of IL as well as for a conviction for first-degree damage to property in Hennepin County in Minnesota.

In a shocking confession, the man admitted he planned to attack an adult before spotting five-year-old Landen near the third-floor balcony.

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

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As of Tuesday evening, April 16, creators of a GoFundMe effort have raised more than $700,000 for the 5-year-old boy, and a small mountain of toys and stuffed animals at the mall continues to grow, WCCO reports.

The Star-Tribune reported that Aranda was previously convicted of first-degree property damage and was also arrested on charges of assault and theft in IL.

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.

That's when the suspect "picked up the victim and threw him" roughly 39 feet (12 metres) off of the balcony to the first floor before he took off running. Aranda felt driven to aggression after being rejected by women he'd tried to speak with there, according to a criminal complaint obtained by PEOPLE.

According to Bloomington Police Chief Jeffrey Potts, some of his cases had been handed by a mental-health court, but he did not specify which ones at a Saturday press conference.

Police said Aranda had a history of mental issues and arrests on relatively minor charges.

"You wonder whether things could be prevented if we spent more on mental health treatment on the front end and mental health options on the front end, instead of always just waiting for bad things to happen and seeking retributive justice", Sellers said after Tuesday's hearing.

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