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5-year old thrown off balcony at Mall of America being treated: Police

KSTP-TV(BLOOMINGTON, Minn.) —  The 5-year-old who was thrown from the third floor of the Mall of America in Minnesota continues to be treated for life-threatening injuries as details emerge about the attack, police said.

“This was a tough one,” Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts said in a press conference on Saturday afternoon, describing the scene upon his arrival at the mall on Friday as “gutwrenching.”

On Friday, 24-year old Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda allegedly threw the child, who has not been identified, from the third floor of the mall, police said. The child was with at least one of their parents at the time of the incident.

“This is just under a 40-foot fall,” Potts told reporters. He noted that there were many eyewitnesses and video of the incident.

Police do not think there is a relationship between Aranda and the child, but the Minneapolis resident has a history with the police, including a July 2015 incident where he threw an object from one of the floors at the same mall. Aranda was arrested for obstruction, disorderly conduct and damage to property, according to the Bloomington Police.

Later that same year, he had two altercations at local restaurants, including one in which he refused to pay his bill. In a separate 2015 incident, Aranda threw a glass at an employee at a restaurant and was arrested and charged with trespassing, fifth-degree assault, obstructing the legal process and disorderly conduct, police said.

On Saturday, Potts declined to give specifics about Aranda’s mental health but said some of the previous cases had been handled in mental health courts. Potts also pointed out that there had been prior convictions, and said that Aranda had previously been on a trespass notice at the Mall of America but that such notices usually expire after six-month or one-year increments — Aranda’s prior arrests were in 2015.

Potts said prosecutors would finalize charges by Monday at noon.

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