Wellwishers Donate $315,000 for Boy Who Was Critically Injured After Being Thrown off Third Floor Balcony at Mall of America
Ariel Zilber and Rod Ardehali, Daily Mail, April 15, 2019
Wellwishers have donated more than $300,000 to the family of a five-year-old boy who suffered life-threatening injuries when he was thrown off a third-floor balcony in the Mall of America by a stranger.
The boy, Landen Hoffmann of Woodbury, Minnesota, was tossed from the balcony on Friday and police have arrested the man they believe is responsible.
Landen’s cousin, April Hoffmann, posted a tribute to the boy on her Instagram page on Saturday.
‘Please pray for my cousins beautiful son Landen,’ she wrote.
‘A monster of a man threw him from a 3rd floor balcony at the mall, he is fighting to stay with us every second.’
Friends of the family began a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign for Landen, who is described as ‘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,’ according to the GoFundMe page.
‘He is full of energy and life and enjoys soccer, playing with friends and family and playing hockey with his brother and sister.’
Police say Landen was tossed from the balcony on Friday by 24-year-old Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, who is from the Minneapolis metro area.
Aranda was charged with attempted homicide and is currently being held at the Bloomington Police Department.
‘Additional information from witnesses indicated the 5-year-old might have been pushed or thrown,’ Bloomington Chief of Police Jeff Potts said.
Police officers gave the child first aid along with witnesses, Potts said.
‘The child did suffer significant injuries,’ he said. ‘The child has been transported to the hospital and has been receiving care.’
According to Potts, witnesses told police the person suspected of pushing or throwing the child ‘took off running immediately after the incident.’
He’s currently at the Bloomington Police Department, Potts said, and authorities don’t believe there is any further threat to the public.
‘At this time, we do not believe that there is a relationship between the child or the family of the child,’
Aranda’s criminal record includes two convictions in 2015 for obstruction of the legal process/interfering with a peace officer, as well as convictions for fifth-degree assault, trespassing and damage to property.
Court records show Aranda was arrested on July 4, 2015, after police said he matched the description of a man throwing things off the upper level of the Mall of America to the lower level.
Police say Aranda refused to give his name and resisted arrest.
Aranda also was accused of walking into a mall store and sweeping his hand across a display table, breaking glasses.
Aranda was under a trespass notice at the time banning him from the mall until July 4, 2016.