‘Spiderman’ who saved child to get French citizenship

Mamoudou Gassama met with French president Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace after a video of his daring rescue went viral on social media.

As well as being made a French citizen, the 22-year-old – who recently moved to the country in the hope of a new life – will be offered a place in the fire brigade, Mr Macron said on Monday.

Mr Gassama also received a certificate of courage and dedication signed by Paris police chief Michel Delpuech on his visit to the presidential residence.

Emmanuel Macron with 'spiderman' hero Mamoudou Gassama
Image:Emmanuel Macron with ‘spiderman’ hero Mamoudou Gassama
‘Spiderman’ who saved child to get French citizenship
‘Spiderman’ who saved child to get French citizenship

The migrant scaled an apartment block in northern Paris on Saturday evening after seeing a four-year-old in danger.

Footage shows Mr Gassama pulling himself up from balcony to balcony in a matter of seconds, while a man on the fourth floor tries to hold on to the child by leaning across from a neighbouring balcony.

On reaching the fourth floor Mr Gassama puts one leg over the balcony before reaching out with his right arm and grabbing the child.

The astonishing act has been viewed by millions since being uploaded to Facebook.

Avec M. GASSAMA qui a sauvé samedi la vie d’un enfant en escaladant 4 étages à mains nues. Je lui ai annoncé qu’en reconnaissance de cet acte héroïque il allait être régularisé dans les plus brefs délais, et que la brigade des sapeurs-pompiers de Paris était prête à l’accueillir.

— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) May 28, 2018

Firefighters arrived at the scene to find the child had already been rescued. A spokesman said: “Luckily, there was someone who was physically fit and who had the courage to go and get the child.”

It is understood the child’s parents were not at home at the time.

The father was later held for questioning by police for having left his child unattended and was due in court, it was reported.

The child’s mother was not in Paris at the time.

Mamoudou Gassama displays a certificate of courage and dedication signed by Paris Police Prefect Michel Delpuech
Image:The 22-year-old revealed he was shaking after the rescue

Mr Gassama told reporters he acted without thinking.

“I saw all these people shouting, and cars sounding their horns. I climbed up like that and, thank God, I saved the child,” he said.

“I felt afraid when I saved the child… [when] we went into the living room, I started to shake, I could hardly stand up, I had to sit down.”

Prior to his visit to the Elysee Palace, Mr Gassama had already been thanked by Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo in a telephone call.

“He explained to me that he had arrived from Mali a few months ago dreaming of building his life here,” she said.

“I told him that his heroic act is an example to all citizens and that the city of Paris will obviously be very keen to support him in his efforts to settle in France.”

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