A FIVE-YEAR-OLD boy is lucky to be alive after a stranger allegedly picked him up and threw him off a third-floor balcony at a mall in the United States.
It happened at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota shortly after 10am local time on Friday.
Police Chief Jeff Potts said, according to witnesses, a man tossed the child off the third floor of the Mall’s interior and “took off running immediately after the incident”.
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A witness told CNN affiliate WCCO that the child’s mother was screaming that someone had thrown her child from the balcony.
“She was screaming, ‘Everyone pray, everyone pray. Oh my God, my baby, someone threw him over the edge,'” Brian Johnson told WCCO.
The man accused of the heinous act – identified as Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, – was later found hiding inside the mall’s transit station.
He was arrested and has since been charged with attempted homicide.
Police said the 24-year-old man is not known to the child, or the child’s family.
“At this time, we do not believe that there is a relationship between the child or the family of the child,” the Police Chief said on Friday.
The child sustained life-threatening injuries in the incident and was treated by witnesses and emergency services at the scene before being rushed to hospital in a critical condition.