CHICAGO (CBS)– The man accused of throwing a boy off a balcony at Mall of America has been charged with attempted murder.
Emmanuel Aranda, 24, is accused of heading to Mall of America on Thursday with the intent to kill somebody. He said it didn’t “work out.” Aranda returned the next day, planning to kill an adult, but instead targeted a 5-year-old boy.
Investigators said the young victim was tossed from a third-story balcony at the mall, plummeting about 40 feet. The boy, whose name has not been released, remained in critical condition on Monday.
Meantime, Aranda was due to appear in court on Tuesday. He has a violent past tied to Chicago, and one woman knows first-hand.
A server, who has asked to remain anonymous, was working at a Golden Nugget Pancake House back in August of 2014. She described a man, Aranda, who assaulted and chased an innocent patron inside of the restaurant.
“He proceeded to get up, take his plate, and crack him upside the head with it; busted the plate completely,” she said. “He ended up pulling out a knife.”
The server said people were putting their children underneath tables, because Aranda was saying he was going to stab or kill somebody.
She said he then ran out of the restaurant
“He wanted to hurt someone that day. We were just purely lucky that he didn’t,” she said.
Police said Aranda was later arrested.
“It makes me sick; really makes me sick. My prayers go out to the family for that poor little boy,” the restaurant server said.
According to court documents, for the 2014 Golden Nugget incident, Aranda got an outstanding warrant issued for skipping court in that case.
Aranda is expected to make his first court appearance on Tuesday for the Mall of America case.