It happened at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota shortly after 10am local time on Friday.
A witness told WCCO that the child's mother was heard screaming after the incident.
Brian Johnson told WCCO-TV the woman was screaming, "Everybody pray, everybody pray".
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. Police say Aranda refused to give his name and resisted arrest.
The complaint says Aranda told police he had been coming to the mall for several years seeking to talk to women, but had been rejected and it caused him to lash out. Police do not believe there was any connection between the family and Aranda. 'The child has been transported to the hospital and has been receiving care'. He had an outstanding warrant for his arrest at the time he allegedly assaulted the boy at the Mall of America.
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"He was enjoying a day at the Mall of America with his mom and friend on Friday morning when a stranger maliciously grabbed him and threw him over the 3rd floor balcony for no apparent reason".
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.
"We think the mall is still a very safe place to go".
"We have counselling services available for anyone who may need assistance". In that incident, he got into a physical scuffle with the manager of the restaurant, sending panicked diners fleeing, according to court records that also note Aranda at that point had been banned from Mall of America property through early July 2016.
In 2015, Aranda ignored an order to stay away from the mall and was arrested after panhandling and harassing two female diners, a criminal complaint said.
In October 2015, Aranda was accused of throwing glasses in Twin Cities Grill in the mall.
Aranda has been banished from the mall in past years, though authorities said the trespassing holds had expired by Friday's incident. A case summary said Aranda beat a restaurant employee with a telephone when she threatened to call police about his bill, and pulled a knife on a bystander who intervened.