Boy thrown from Mall of America balcony returns home after nearly 5 months in hospital

Local News

(CBS) —The 5-year-old boy who was thrown from a balcony at the Mall of America in April has returned home, his family announced Tuesday. Landen spent nearly five months recovering in the hospital, and will now begin outpatient rehabilitation.

“We are so thankful, and we rejoice in the Lord’s blessings to our family,” Landen’s family wrote on his GoFundMe. “We continue to ask that His healing powers guide us and our son’s care team as we enter the next phase of recovery, which includes continued outpatient rehabilitation for multiple injuries and adjusting to life back at home and school.”

Landen was thrown nearly 40 feet from a third-floor balcony at the Minnesota mall by a stranger in April. He suffered significant head trauma and broken bones, needing multiple surgeries and inpatient rehabilitation. “Thank you to all of you who prayed for us and loved us during the past 4 ½ months,” his family wrote. “You helped to give us hope and show us the Glory of God’s great love here on earth even during the darkest of days.”

The man who threw him, Emmanuel Aranda, 24, pleaded guilty in June and was sentenced to 19 years in prison. Aranda told investigators he went to the mall “looking for someone to kill” after a woman rejected his advances.

Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda in police photo in Bloomington

The boy’s mother told police Aranda came up very close to her group as they stood outside the Rainforest Cafe restaurant. She said she asked him if they were in his way and should move, and he picked up the child without warning and threw him off the balcony, according to the complaint.

Aranda has two past convictions for assaults at the mall, both in 2015, including one in which he threw a glass of water and glass of tea at a woman who refused to buy him something. At one point, he was banned from the mall.

Aranda originally said he planned to kill an adult before choosing the child instead, the complaint said.

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