Child pushed from third floor of Mall of America, suspect in custody

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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.

The suspect, a 24-year-old man, initially fled the scene but was arrested, Potts said.

Witnesses said the child landed on the first level and the suspect took off running before he was apprehended by officers inside the mall, police said.

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

People enjoy the amusement park at the Mall of America, the largest indoor amusement park in the U.S., 02 February 2006 in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Additional information from witnesses indicated the 5-year-old might have been pushed or thrown, Potts said.

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Witnesses say the boy's mother was screaming and asking others to pray for her son. The charges state he threw a drinking glass at a customer at Twin City Grill in the Mall of America.

An Allina Health spokesperson had earlier confirmed that one person had been transported to Children's Minnesota from the mall. "The child did suffer significant injuries".

The man arrested for allegedly pushing or throwing a boy from the third floor of the Mall of America in Minnesota had been banned from the mall in the past and once told police he had anger issues, court records show.

"Oh my God, my baby, someone threw him over the edge'". "Our thoughts and prayers are obviously with that child and his family in hopes that that child is able to recover".

Potts said that Aranda was not known to the child or to his family and that investigators are "actively trying to figure out why this occurred". Police say Aranda refused to give his name and resisted arrest. He said a thorough investigation will be conducted to find out the motive for the incident.

The child's family is at the hospital but no details were immediately available about the child's condition.