The man is not believed to be related to the child who he allegedly threw off the third floor at the Mall of America, last Friday. He said she was screaming, "Everybody pray, everybody pray. Oh, my God, my baby, someone threw him over the edge, '" Brian Johnson told WCCO.
A 24-year-old suspect was arrested in connection with the child's fall, and police said he either threw or pushed him off a balcony. Police did say that the victim and his family are from the Twin Cities area.
Potts said some of Aranda's past cases were handled through a mental health court, but would not comment further on the man's mental health status at the time of Friday's incident.
Authorities described the injuries as life-threatening but he is in stable condition at Children's Hospital Minneapolis.
In an update posted to an online fundraising page for the family on Sunday afternoon, a family friend reported that the boy - whose first name is Landen - "had a peaceful sleep and is still continuing to fight his courageous battle; he's a strong survivor!" "He was enjoying a day at the Mall of America with his mom and friend on Friday morning when a stranger maliciously grabbed him and threw him over the 3rd floor balcony for no apparent reason", the family friend continued.
'The child did suffer significant injuries, ' he said. Children's Hospital Minneapolis had no information to release.
Potts said, emphasizing that police believe this to be an 'isolated incident'. A witness tried to stop him, and officers soon after apprehended and arrested the Minneapolis man in the mall's transit station.
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Witnesses told police that the alleged attacker "took off running immediately after the incident".
Aranda's criminal record includes two convictions in 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.
According to court records, the suspect has been previously barred from the Mall of America.
Aranda also was accused of walking into a mall store and sweeping his hand across a display table, breaking glasses.
Aranda's previous ban from the mall was not in effect at the time of the incident.