BLOOMINGTON, Minnesota (CNN) – At Mall of America, a single rose replaces the crime tape and dozens of investigators.
Friday, police say Emmanuel Aranda pushed or threw a 5-year-old boy from a third-floor balcony — about a 40-foot fall.
As security rushed to the scene, police say Aranda started running.
“Actually, one witness who witnessed the incident tried to stop the suspect from fleeing, so we are very appreciative of his efforts to try to intervene and help out in a very difficult situation,” said Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts.
Police were able to track Aranda down quickly. They arrested him in the transit station in Mall of America, and the mall helped them do that.
“I have to say that they are very good at using their cameras and their electronic equipment on the inside of the mall to help track and follow people in cases like this, if somebody takes off running,” Potts said. “I can say that the Mall of America was very helpful in us locating the suspect as quickly as we were able to do yesterday.”
This isn’t the first time that Bloomington police have dealt with Aranda.
“Back in 2015, we had three prior contacts — one of them in July,” Potts said. “That also occurred at the Mall of America. He was seen throwing an object off of one of the floors — the third level.”
Another time, again at the mall, he was at a restaurant, and police arrested him for throwing a glass at one of the employees.
The last contact was at a restaurant in Bloomington where Aranda refused to pay his bill.
“Our next steps in our investigative work is to just continue to work on this case, in terms of getting it ready for submission for formal charges,” Potts said.
They plan to submit that on Monday.