He blamed rejection for his violent actions, telling police he went to the mall for years and was constantly rejected by women, and that made him angry.
The boy is in critical condition with broken arms and legs and other injuries, according to the newspaper.
The family set up a GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses and have already raised more than $650,000.
Original story: Police in Bloomington, Minnesota, have charged Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda with attempted homicide after allegedly pushing or throwing a 5-year-old from a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America.
The boy was rushed to the hospital Friday morning following the incident.
Bloomington Police Chief Jeffrey Potts said police don’t think there is any relationship between the man and the family of the child, who suffered life-threatening injuries.
Police responded to the scene shortly after 10 a.m. and found that the child had fallen from the third level to the first level, Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts said in a Friday afternoon press conference. The child was critically injured, he said.
Witnesses told police that a man had either pushed or thrown the child from the third floor and then fled on foot. Police found Aranda inside the mall and arrested him, Potts said.
Police were heard saying over dispatch audio that a man in his 60s tried to stop the suspect, but was assaulted, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.
A portion of the mall remains closed off as authorities investigate.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.