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A 5-year-old boy survived with critical injuries after being thrown nearly 40 feet over the third floor railing of a Mall of America balcony by an apparent stranger.

Bloomington police Chief Jeffrey Potts was quoted by USA Today as saying the motive for the attack by the suspect, Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, is still under investigation.

The exact condition of the boy is unknown at this time; however, a GoFundMe established by a family friend says he’s suffering life-threatening injuries. Thus far, it’s raised more than $500,000 for the family. 

The suspect had previously been banned from the mall — but the ban was not in effect at the time of the incident. He has a history of misdemeanor convictions; some cases were handled through a mental health court, Potts confirmed to USA Today.

He was arrested at the mall in 2015 and faced three charges after Potts said he threw an object off the mall’s third level and became uncooperative with police. 

WIBC host Tony Katz notes that the incident is a gut-wrenching reminder of why we can never eliminate evil in the heart of man through government legislation.


“This story is a very important story to the idea that you cannot stop hate. The best you can do is try your level best to be prepared for it and fight it.

I’ve often said, I carry a firearm. And I carry a firearm so I have the best opportunity to defend myself against an attack. I don’t know if I could have stopped someone from grabbing my child and attempting to throw them off a railing. I don’t know as of yet if all the people who dealt with this guy in the mental health world could have seen this coming. 

I can tell you this: look at the ineffectiveness of the ban. The Mall of America is huge, so how can you possibly notice every single person in the mall at any given time? How can a ban be effective if you can’t keep an eye on every person who enters? 

We have a society that is hellbent on the idea that you can legislate morality and decency. That it is indeed possible, via the laws of the land, you can make everybody decent. There is this idea that in order to have freedom, we have to pass laws that say ‘you cannot discriminate.’

Was there any law that was going to prevent this child from being thrown over a railing? Government will not save us from evil.”

Click the link below to hear Tony’s full commentary.