‘Angels caught me’ — boy thrown from mall balcony returns to school

Child thrown from Mall of America balcony returns home; man accused of throwing him appeals conviction

The boy who was thrown from a third-floor balcony at Mall of America in Minnesota earlier this year is walking normally and has returned to school after months of treatment, his family announced.

»PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Boy thrown from Mall of America balcony is out of intensive care unit

According to the family's GoFundMe page, 5-year-old Landen Hoffman came home from the hospital in August with an open wound on his abdomen and a limp because of a broken femur he suffered in the April 12 attack.

According to the family's GoFundMe page, 5-year-old Landen Hoffman came home from the hospital in August and continues to make a strong recovery from injuries suffered in an April 12 attack at Mall of America in Minnesota.
According to the family's GoFundMe page, 5-year-old Landen Hoffman came home from the hospital in August and continues to make a strong recovery from injuries suffered in an April 12 attack at Mall of America in Minnesota.

Credit: Family photo

Credit: Family photo

On that morning, Landen was out shopping with his mother and friends at the mall when a stranger, Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, of Minneapolis, approached and hurled the boy over the railing to the first floor nearly 40 feet down.

Landen suffered numerous broken bones that required 15 surgeries, but luckily he showed no signs of brain damage, family said.

»MORE: Boy thrown from Mall of America balcony shows no sign of brain damage

Aranda was later caught aboard a train. He has since pleaded guilty to first-degree attempted murder and was sentenced in June to 19 years in prison.

Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda was sentenced to 19 years in prison for throwing a 5-year-old boy from a balcony at Mall of America in April.
Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda was sentenced to 19 years in prison for throwing a 5-year-old boy from a balcony at Mall of America in April.

Credit: The Associated Press

Credit: The Associated Press

»PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Man who threw boy from Mall of America balcony sentenced to 19 years in prison

Today Landen is in good spirits and able to attend the same kindergarten as his twin brother and sister, family said.

More than $1 million has been donated on a GoFundMe, where family posts regular updates about Landen’s recovery.

They describe him as "a strong, happy boy."

“He tells people all the time when they get hurt, don’t worry, I fell off a cliff, but Angels caught me and Jesus loves me, so I’m ok and you will be too!" reads a post on the site from Nov. 22.

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