Five-year-old Landen Hoffman was thrown from the third-floor balcony at the Mall of America earlier this month, while innocently standing outside the Rainforest Café.
Twenty-four-year-old Emmanuel Aranda of Minneapolis has been charged with attempted premeditated first-degree murder after snatching the boy away from his mother and tossing him off the 40-foot drop.
According to Landen’s mom, Aranda approached her group at the mall on April 12, and she asked him if they were in his way and should move. Before she knew it, the stranger picked up Landen and threw him from the balcony.
Apparently, this isn’t the first time Aranda has committed crimes at the mall. The 24-year-old has two prior assault convictions from 2015 and was banned from the premises for a period of time. He was forced to undergo psychological evaluation following those earlier offenses.
Police captured Aranda on a light rail train leaving the mall and he admitted to throwing the boy off the balcony. He also told them he went to the Mall of America the day prior trying to kill somebody (preferably an adult), but it didn’t “work out.”
In spite of taking a plunge that could have killed him, doctors have reported that Landen is actually doing much better than expected. Even medical staff are chalking it up to a “miracle.”[irp posts=”80135″ name=”“Be That Parent”: Grieving Couple Urges You to Pick Your Kids Up from Prom After Daughter’s Tragic Death”]
The pastor of the family’s church, Mac Hammond, was contacted by Landen’s grandpa on Sunday during the Easter sermon.
“Doctors said they found no brain damage — not even any swelling,” Hammond told church congregants on Easter. “No spinal damage, no nerve damage … doctors are saying it is truly a miracle.”
The results were obtained after a 5-hour MRI. The pastor shared that the boy did suffer many broken bones, including fractures on his arm, leg, and face. He will also need to have his spleen removed.
The week following the attack, the GoFundMe page set up for Landen posted this encouraging update:
“The power of prayer is simply amazing. We all have been extremely humbled by the outpouring of support and prayers from everyone. Thank you for showing us there is so much good not only in our community but across the globe. Condition is again similar to previous days, another peaceful night of sleep – small steps towards the healing process. Each new day is a good day. Landen’s recovery is expected to be ongoing for a long time, while it’s hard to estimate costs, this will change everything for their family and require much of their time and focus.”
The GoFundMe page for Landen has already racked up close to $1 million in donations.
You can send get-well cards for Landen to PO Box 43516, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443-4200.
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