France Rewards 'Spiderman' Immigrant Hero Who Scaled Wall To Save Dangling Child

Geneva Stokes
May 29, 2018

Mamoudou Gassama, 22, from Mali, displays a certificate of courage and dedication signed by Paris Police Prefect Michel Delpuech as he leaves the Elysee Palace after his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

An undocumented Malian migrant who saved the life of a four-year-old boy in Paris is to receive French citizenship.

The Paris fire brigade tweeted: "Mamoudou shares the values of the Paris fire brigade".

Mamoudou Gassama captured the spotlight after a video emerged online showing him rescuing a four-year-old boy.

Video captured Gassama leaping into action, scaling the building's facade amid cheers from the gathered crowd before making his way to the balcony where neighbors were struggling to pull the child to safety.

Macron congratulated Gassama for "an exceptional act" and said France would give him a job in the emergency services.

The accident was uncovered on Saturday evening when firefighters were called urgently to an apartment block in northern Paris after receiving continuous reports of a four-year old clinging for his life on a balcony.

Macron also told Gassama that he would be made a naturalized citizen for what he did.

The boy's mother was not home either, Molins said, because she was visiting France's Réunion Island, in the Indian Ocean, with family members.

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In an interview with BFM TV, Gassama said once he had the boy safely in his arms, he asked him why he did that, but the child, probably in shock, did not initially reply. "Thank God I scaled the front of the building to that balcony".

Now, DPA reports that French President Emmanuel Macron is set to meet the young migrant, according to sources at the Elysee Palace.

Gassama told Macron that God "helped me", during the rescue.

Gassama told France 24 that he was with his girlfriend when he saw a child on the fourth floor hanging from a balcony. "I wasn't thinking about being courageous". A man on the neighboring balcony emerges and leans around a partition to grasp the child. His father was out playing Pokemon Go at the time.

"I did it because it was a child", the newspaper quoted him as saying.

The charge against the unnamed father carries a sentence of up to two years in prison.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo praised Gassama's heroism and said the city will support his effort to settle in France.

"I ran. I crossed the street to save him", Gassama said, the AP said.

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