A Malian migrant hailed as a hero after mounting a daring rescue to save a small boy dangling from a balcony in Paris is to be made a French citizen.
Mamoudou Gassama won widespread praise after climbing the outside of the building to save the four-year-old. Video showed him being cheered on by spectators as pulled himself from balcony to balcony to the fourth floor. Mr. Gassama met French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday
After meeting him at the Elysee Palace, President Emmanuel Macron said he would be made a naturalised citizen. He personally thanked Mr Gassama, gave him a medal for courage and said he would also be made a fireman.
Mr. Gassama shows off his certificate outside the presidential palace. The drama unfolded on Saturday evening on a street in the north of the city. Mr Gassama said he had been walking past when he saw a crowd gathered in front of the building.
He told French broadcaster BFMTV when he saw the child dangling from the balcony, “I did not think, I saved him.” “When I took him in my arms, I spoke with him and asked: ‘Why did you do that?’ But he did not answer.”
The Parisian fire service said crews had arrived to find the boy had already been rescued. “Luckily, there was someone who was physically fit and who had the courage to go and get the child,” a spokesman told AFP news agency.
Local authorities quoted by French media said the boy’s parents were not at home at the time. The father has been questioned by police on suspicion of leaving his child unattended, judicial sources say. The mother was not in Paris at the time, it is believed.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo was among those to praise the 22-year-old’s heroism and said she had called him to thank him. She referred to him as the “Spiderman of the 18th”, referring to the Paris district where the rescue took place, calling him an “example for all citizens”.
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