Man Who Saved Toddler Hanging From Balcony Awarded Citizenship

29 May, 2018, 19:37 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • A Malian migrant in France rescued a child who was hanging from a 4th floor balcony of a building in Paris

The AP said Gassama arrived in Europe after crossing the Mediterranean from Libya to Italy.

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.

After being hailed by French President Emmanuel Macron for his bravery on Monday morning, Macron later announced that Gassama could seek French nationality and that the fire service was ready to offer him a job.

"I saved the child and then went inside the building and I was shaking", he told Macron.

The migrant admitted he was "trembling" after the rescue, but told the French president: "When I started to climb, it gave me courage to keep climbing".

The family of the young boy he saved thanked him Tuesday for his quick thinking.

Mamoudou Gassama, a 22-year-old Malian, became the most famous undocumented immigrant in France after footage of his rescue of a child hanging from the balcony of a fourth-floor apartment went viral.

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His heroic act has been praised by the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo as she took to Twitter to praise for his "act of bravery".

According to judicial sources, the child's parents were not home at the time. In the now-famous feat, Gassama scaled several stories, earning him the "Spiderman" nickname, to save the child.

Paris prosecutor François Molins told the BFM television network that the father of the child had gone grocery shopping but was delayed in coming home as made a decision to play the smartphone game after leaving the store. "You need courage and the capability to do that".

The boy had left Réunion, where his mother and grandmother live, about three weeks ago and moved to Paris to join his father, who was working there.

Macron's government has said it wants to be both firm and fair on immigration but it took a tougher stance lately, with parliament approving a bill that tightens asylum rules.

He was arrested on charges of neglecting his parental duties but released again on Monday.

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.

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