Mall of America worker, police captain honored for life-saving heroics

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When little Landen was thrown from the third floor of the Mall of America back in April, it didn’t just affect him and his family.

“What just happened?” asked Lashone Caldwell. “That was my initial reaction.”

Caldwell was working at the Lids store on the third floor when she watched in horror as Emmanuel Aranda ran past her, picked up the 5-year-old and threw him from the balcony.

She said she couldn’t stop Aranda from running off, but she could tell police what he looked like.

“I grabbed the first officer I saw, gave a detailed description from his shirt down to his jeans,” Caldwell said. “Minutes later, they said they caught someone. I said that was him and that was pretty much it.”

Captain Brent Carlson was one of the first emergency responders to arrive on the scene.

“It was pretty chaotic,” he called.

He and two other members of his crew helped make sure Landen was getting CPR and escorted him on a stretcher to the ambulance so he could be rushed to the hospital.

“Kids calls are not fun,” Carlson said. “They are difficult calls. Kids can’t defend themselves, especially in this situation.”

Caldwell and Carlson were two of the nearly four-dozen private citizens, police officers and first responders who were recognized by the Bloomington Police Department for their actions that day.

They helped save the life of a little boy and put the man who hurt him behind bars.

“Being honored like this is a very humbling experience,” Carlson said. “I’m thankful for the honor, but I just did what I was supposed to do.”