The family of a 5-year-old Minnesota boy who was thrown from the third-floor balcony at the Minneapolis Mall of America earlier this month, is no longer in critical condition.
ABC reports that the family’s lawyer, Stephen Tillitt, read a statement written by the family of young boy, Landen, who has been unconscious for two weeks after suffering head trauma and numerous broken bones. The 5-year-old opened his eyes this week and is now “alert and conscious.”
“All praise, glory and honor to Jesus!” Tillitt read on behalf of the family. “We are so elated to let you know that our son is now alert and conscious and is no longer in critical condition!”
“We are now turning our focus to additional surgeries, healing, rehabilitation and eventually a return home, which we hope will happen by June. We want to thank each and every one of you for your love, prayers and support.”
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As CrimeOnline previously reported, Mac Hammond, the family’s church pastor, said earlier this month that Landen went through an MRI lasting five hours, and the results were nothing short of a miracle.
“Doctors said they found no brain damage — not even any swelling,” Hammond said during church service. “No spinal damage, no nerve damage … doctors are saying it is truly a miracle.”
The boy remains in the hospital, but Hammond said the doctors are now describing Landen’s injuries as if he “fell off a bicycle instead of off the third floor of the mall.”
What Happened to Landen?
Landen’s mother told police she was standing with a group on third floor of Mall of America on April 12, near the Rain Forest Café, when a male, later identified as 24-year-old Emmanuel Aranda, approached and stood close to them.
The woman asked the man if they were in his way and said they would move, but Aranda allegedly picked up the woman’s little boy and without warning, threw him over the ledge, the complaint stated.
Landen fell nearly 40 feet and landed on the mall’s hard, marble floor. First responders found him lying in a pool of blood and rushed him to the hospital. First responders also noted the boy had numerous injuries, including fractured bones in his legs and arms.
The suspect fled on foot and when a bystander helped block him off, Aranda managed to push the man away. Police later found him at the mall’s light rail train and arrested him. He’s now behind bars facing first-degree, premeditated attempted murder charges.
According to the complaint, Aranda admitted to police that he went to the mall that morning with the intention of killing someone. The suspect reportedly said that he wanted to kill an adult, since they usually stand near the balcony, but then decided on Landen when he spotted the boy.
Further, Arada has been frequenting the mall for years while trying to talk to women. Each time a woman rejected him, he lashed out.
“Defendant indicated he had been coming to the Mall for several years and had made efforts to talk to women in the Mall, but had been rejected, and the rejection caused him to lash out and be aggressive,” a criminal complaint said.
Court records revealed the suspect has a long history of criminal behavior inside the same mall. In July 2015, Aranda was arrested for throwing objects from the upper area of the mall to the lower area. He also allegedly walked into a store in the mall and with his hands, pushed items off of a display table, breaking glasses in the process.
In October 2015, Aranda reportedly approached a woman at the Twin Cities grill in the mall. He asked her to buy him food, according to police, and when she refused, he threw a glass of water in her face, followed by a glass of tea that hit the woman in the leg.
During the same year, the man destroyed five computers at a library in Minneapolis, court documents stated. According to the Star Tribune, Aranda had an active warrant for his arrest, in connection to a 2017 assault incident.
“My nephew he had mental problems for a long time, for a very long time,” Aranda’s uncle said, according to CBS Minnesota. “He needed help for a really long time.”
Aranda is being held without bond, facing charges of attempted homicide.
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[Feature Photo: Wiki Commons]