5-year-old boy thrown off third-floor Mall of America balcony 'alert and conscious', attacker charged with attempted murder
The 5-year-old boy who was picked up and thrown off a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America in Minnesota earlier in April, is currently "alert and conscious", according to his family.
The family said in a statement through their attorney: "All praise, glory, and honor to Jesus! He saved our son's life and is healing him in the most miraculous ways. We are so elated to let you know that our son is now alert and conscious and is no longer in critical condition!"
Although he has not been publicly identified by the authorities, it was reported that he was in critical condition immediately after the incident took place on April 12. His family said sometime last week that he was still in the ICU, CNN reported.
The family is hoping that the child will be released from the hospital by June. The statement also said that they are now going to focus on additional surgeries, healing, and rehabilitation.
In the statement, the family also thanked the community for their continued support and prayers. They said: "The road to recovery remains long, but with God and you, we are assured to make it through."
The authorities said that the boy fell almost 40 feet when 24-year-old Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda picked him up and hurled him over a balcony railing at the famous mall.
Aranda has since been charged with attempted murder. The child and his mother were standing outside the Rain Forest Café when Aranda came up close to them. According to the criminal complaint, the mother hadn't seen the young man before and had asked him if she and her son should move.
The complaint goes on to state that Aranda picks up the child and throws him over the railing instead. He then told the authorities that he had been gone to the mall a day previously in order to kill an adult but that didn't "work out". The complaint then states that he returned the next day and chose the boy instead. Aranda also told the police that he knew what he was planning to do was wrong.
He also explained that he had visited the mall for many years trying to talk to women there but they had rejected him. Aranda then said that it was this that made him want to lash out.