In his first court appearance since Friday's incident, when he allegedly dropped the boy almost 40 feet (12 meters), Emmanuel Aranda was charged with attempted premeditated first-degree murder, Hennepin County Attorney's office spokesman Chuck Laszewski said.
Aranda told police he went to the mall on Thursday intending to kill an adult stranger, but it did not "work out", the criminal complaint filed yesterday states. Prosecutors will be seeking bail of $2 million.
Without entering a plea, his court appearance was brief.
The boy's mother told police that Aranda came up very close to her group as they stood outside the Rainforest Cafe restaurant. When the victim's mother saw Aranda, whom she had never seen before, approaching, she reportedly asked if they should move out of his way.
By Tuesday afternoon, the campaign had raised $711,000, well over its $500,000 goal, since it was launched on Saturday. He returns to court in May 14.
The boy, who has not been publicly identified, remains in critical condition, his family said in a statement through the Bloomington Police Department. He chose the boy instead, and admitted throwing him from the building's third tier, the complaint said. The boy suffered massive head trauma and broken bones.
That's when the suspect "picked up the victim and threw him" roughly 39 feet off of the balcony to the first floor before he took off running.
When Aranda tried to flee the scene, a witness attempted to stop him from leaving, but Aranda pushed the person against the wall and continued running, according to prosecutors.
Police caught Aranda on a light rail train at the mall waiting for it to leave. It also states there is a warrant for his arrest from IL for assault. He's been convicted in the past for assaults at the mall, including an incident in 2015 where he tossed a glass of water and a glass of tea at a woman who wouldn't purchase something for him.
According to the complaint, surveillance footage from the mall allegedly shows Aranda walking on the third floor and looking over the balcony several times before approaching the child and his mother.
Police say he also threw water in a woman's face at the Mall of America and has a warrant for his arrest from IL for assault. He told police he was exhausted of being rejected by women at the mall and this act was out of that anger.