Ns News Online Desk:The man accused of tossing a 5-year-old boy from a third-floor balcony at Minnesota’s Mall of America once flew into a rage at a Golden Nugget restaurant in his native Chicago, whacking a customer over the head with a plate and threatening him with a knife.
Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, who’s been charged with attempted premeditated first-degree murder in last Friday’s mall attack, was busted in 2014 for the horrific restaurant incident, authorities said.
“I’ve been here for 20 years at this particular location and I’ve never, ever been that frightened,” Amanda Granlund, a longtime server at the Golden Nugget in the Ravenswood neighborhood, told the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday.
Granlund detailed how Aranda walked into the eatery on a busy Sunday, ordered breakfast and later asked staffers for permission to call his bank after his card was declined, according to the news outlet. Then, Granlund said, things took a violent turn after a customer sitting at the counter asked a server in Spanish to be moved to a table because Aranda smelled so bad he could not finish his meal.
“That’s when [Aranda] got up and he said, ‘I know what you just said. You said that I smell like s—t.’ And he picked up a plate and cracked him in the head with it,” Granlund told the Tribune. After attacking the customer, Aranda rifled through his backpack and whipped out a knife, according to Granlund.
“And he went to go stab the guy. And the guy was thankfully so thin that he was able to dodge [the blows]. He did it about four or five times,” Granlund told the newspaper. Aranda then started running around the eatery with the knife, shouting, “Someone’s gonna die,” as patrons ran for cover, the woman said.
Police were called to the scene and Aranda was charged with assault, aggravated assault, theft and battery, records show. Ultimately, Aranda pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 months of court supervision. Granlund said she was stunned when she realized that the man charged in the mall incident was the same man she had encountered at the Golden Nugget five years ago.
“He had his food. He was served. Everything was fine,” she said. “It’s just that one person that said something that made him snap.” Aranda, a Minnesota resident who was twice convicted for assaults at the Mall of America in 2015, had admitted to investigators that he went to the mall on Friday “looking for someone to kill.”
Aranda allegedly hurled the boy nearly 40 feet off the balcony to the first-floor, leaving the child with life-threatening injuries, including massive head trauma and broken bones. The suspect made his first court appearance Tuesday in Hennepin County and his bail was kept at $2 millio