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5-year-old child hurt in Mall of America incident

5-year-old child hurt in Mall of America incident”

A 5-year-old boy plummeted three floors Friday after being pushed or thrown from a balcony at the Mall of America, according to witnesses, and a 24-year-old man with a history of causing disturbances at the mall was in custody.

Court records show Aranda was arrested on July 4, 2015, after police said he matched the description of a man throwing things off the upper level of the Mall of America to the lower level.

Police don't know why the child was launched over the railing, Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts said, adding that there doesn't seem to be any connection between the victim, his family and Aranda.

Witnesses told police the child had been either thrown or pushed and that the suspect had taken off running.

The chaotic scene played out about 10:15 a.m.in the southeast corner of the mall.

Tiny Hailey of Burnsville, Minnesota, tells the Star Tribune she was walking with her husband on the mall's first floor when she heard screams.

Potts did not say whether the child and his family are from Minnesota or visiting.

"Our officers initially responded and performed first aid on the child along with some other witnesses and passersby", Potts said.

The police department is working with the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office crime lab to investigate the incident, and they are also working with the mall to determine if any surveillance video exists of the incident.

Metro Transit halted Blue Line light rail service to and from the mall for a short time due to police activity in the area.

"This was a senseless act and words can not truly express our profound shock and sadness", the Mall of America said in a statement. Our immediate and only concern is for the well-being of the family and the child, as well as for any individuals who may have witnessed the incident.

"We have counseling services available for anyone who may need assistance", the statement continued.

Police have said this appears to have been an isolated incident - and there is no threat to the public.

He had been banned from Mall of America in the past, and was convicted of misdemeanors in two separate incidents there in 2015.



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