Witnesses said Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, either pushed or threw the 5-year-old boy on Friday morning from the third level of the Bloomington mall's interior to the first-level floor almost 40 feet below, police said.
Records show that Aranda has a history of assault and bad behavior at the Mall of America, a sprawling complex in the Twin Cities suburb of Bloomington, Minnesota, that hosts hundreds of retail stores, restaurants, an amusement park and aquarium and draws 40 million visitors a year.
Bloomington Chief of Police, Jeff Potts, said: "Additional information from witnesses indicated the five-year-old might have been pushed or thrown".
WCCO-TV in Minnesota reported a witness heard the boy's mother shouting "Everybody pray, everybody pray".
He said she was screaming, 'Everybody pray, everybody pray. "Oh my God, my baby, someone threw him over the edge,"' Brian Johnson told WCCO.
Twenty-four-year-old Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, of Minneapolis, was arrested at the mall's transit station after the attack and is jailed on a suspicion of attempted homicide charge.
Aranda was charged with attempted homicide and is now being held at the Bloomington Police Department.
A 24-year-old suspect has been arrested in connection with the incident that happened Friday.
Authorities believe there's no relationship between the suspect and the child or his family.
'Please pray for my cousins lovely son Landen, ' she wrote.
"The child is still alive and receiving care", he said.
On Friday, the boy "was enjoying a day at the Mall of America with his mom and friend ... when a stranger maliciously grabbed him and threw him over the third-floor balcony for no apparent reason".
He asked the public to keep the boy's family and first responders in their thoughts and prayers.
For these past charges, Aranda was banned from the mall through July 2016. Our immediate and only concern is for the wellbeing of the family and the child, as well as for any individuals who may have witnessed the incident.
Potts said Bloomington police had not had any contact with the suspect since 2015, until Friday's incident.
"We have counselling services available for anyone who may need assistance".
Three months later, Aranda was accused of throwing glasses of water and tea at a woman in a restaurant at the mall for refusing to buy him food, according to the court records.