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5-Year-Old Boy Thrown From Third-Floor Balcony At Mall Of America Fighting To Recover

By  Hank Berrien

A five-year-old boy Minnesota boy who was seized from his mother last Friday and thrown from a third-floor balcony in the Mall of America suffered head trauma, multiple broken bones, and had his spleen removed, but is trying desperately to recover, and people from everywhere are contributing for his recovery. The man accused of the crime was allegedly intent on killing someone as revenge for being rejected by women.

Bloomington police report that Emmanuel Aranda, 24, was arrested and charged with attempted premeditated first-degree murder after approaching Landen Hoffmann, 5, and his mother, who were standing outside the Rainforest Cafe on the third floor, when Aranda allegedly asked if he was in their way. When Landen’s mother said no, Aranda allegedly grabbed the little boy and threw him over the balcony, according to witnesses. While Landen’s mother screamed, a bystander tried to catch Aranda, who pushed him aside and ran from the scene before police caught him on the light-rail train near the mall. Video of the incident was captured on security cameras.

According to The Daily Mail, “Aranda allegedly told police that he went to the mall looking for someone to kill as revenge for being rejected by women there for several years.” The criminal complaint stated that Aranda informed police he had repeatedly been rejected over the years by women at the mall and that was the motivation for the attack.

Aranda had been previously convicted in 2015 for obstruction of the legal process/interfering with a peace officer as well as fifth-degree assault, trespassing and damage to property. The Daily Mail added, “Police said there is also a warrant for Aranda’s arrest in Illinois for assault stemming from an incident at a Chicago restaurant when he allegedly threatened to slit a employee’s neck.”

The GoFundMe website for Landen states:

This is Landen, he is the sweetest kindest 5 year old you will ever meet. His soul is soft and gentle and instantly brings a smile to everybody he meets. He is full of energy and life and enjoys soccer, playing with friends and family and playing hockey with his brother and sister. 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 doesn’t know him and are completely clueless as to why this monster would target their family with this heinous act of violence.

My wife and his mother have been best friends since they were 3 years old. They have grown up together, started their families together and truly have a lifelong friendship for the ages. Their family is always so generous to others, they give without expecting anything in return and are the type of family you always hope to live next door.

Landen has a very long road to recovery ahead of him. He suffered life threatening injuries, many people who fall from that distance aren’t as lucky to make it. He has many surgeries ahead in his life to try to get back to a normal life for a young, vibrant boy. We started this GoFundMe for their family to help cover the immense medical costs and rehabilitation costs for the long ahead. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedules to hear about their story.

On Thursday the website was updated with this message:

The power of prayer is simply amazing. We all have been extremely humbled by the outpouring of support and prayers from everyone one. Thank you for showing us there is so much good not only in our community but across the globe. Condition is again similar to previous days, another peaceful night of sleep – small steps towards the healing process. Each new day is a good day. Landen’s recovery is expected to be ongoing for a long time, while it’s hard to estimate costs, this will change everything for their family and require much of their time and focus.

KSTP reported Aranda’s uncle stated of his nephew, “He has a serious mental problem, he was diagnosed as a child … I pray for the mom and the family because this is—I can’t even imagine how she feels. … We are going to pray for that baby because what happened is so unfortunate, but it’s going to bring light to mental illness, I hope he doesn’t go to jail; he needs help.”‘

As of 4 p.m. EST on Thursday the GoFundMe website had raised over $782,000 toward its $1 million goal.

Get-well cards for Landen can be addressed to him at PO Box 43516, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443-4200.

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