MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The family of a boy who was thrown off a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America in April 2019 has filed a lawsuit accusing the mall of failing to provide proper security.
The complaint filed Tuesday says the mall and its security detail knew about the previous “violent, aggressive, and erratic” behavior displayed at the shopping center by the boy’s attacker, Emmanuel Aranda. Security should have have prevented Aranda from “prowling” at the building without an officer following him closely, the suit said. Aranda was allegedly banned from the mall twice in previous years.
The boy, identified only as Landen, was 5 years old when he was thrown nearly 40 feet (12.2 meters) to the ground by Aranda, who was sentenced to 19 years in prison for attempted first-degree murder. Aranda told investigators he went to the Bloomington, Minnesota, mall “looking for someone to kill” after women had rejected his advances.
The suit seeks unspecified damages. Mark Briol, an attorney for the family, said that while the child has made remarkable progress, the family has incurred more than $1.7 million in medical expenses and faces “ongoing medical and health challenges.”
Mall officials said in a release that such suits are not unexpected and they will try to find a resolution for all parities.
“From the day that this tragic event happened, our concern has been focused on Landen and his well-being,” the statement said. “We are thankful for his ongoing and continued recovery. We can’t imagine how traumatic this ordeal has been for Landen, his family, and friends.”