After Dramatic Rescue, France Makes 'Spider-Man' a Citizen

Immigrant rescued boy dangling from building
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 28, 2018 5:09 AM CDT

A young Malian immigrant whose rescue of a 4-year-old boy dangling from a building was declared "Incroyable!" by the French media has been rewarded with citizenship. Mamoudou Gassama was filmed by passers-by scaling the facade of the Paris building, climbing from balcony to balcony to reach the child and pull him to safety from a fourth-floor balcony, where neighbors on an adjoining balcony had been struggling to hold him up, the Guardian reports. Gassama said he had been in the neighborhood to watch a soccer game at a restaurant Saturday night when he saw a crowd gathered in front of the building and rushed to save the boy, the BBC reports. "I didn't think about it, I climbed up and God helped me," he said.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo praised Massama as an "example to all citizens" and the "Spider-Man of the 18th," referring to the district where the rescue took place. Massama, who arrived in France a few months ago, met President Emmanuel Macron at the presidential palace Monday and was told he would be made a French citizen, CNN reports. He was also presented with a gold medal for heroism and authorities say he will be offered a job in the Paris fire brigade. Authorities say the boy had been left unattended. The father, who had apparently left the boy alone while he went out shopping, has been taken into custody and is due in court Monday. The boy's mother was out of Paris during the incident, authorities say. (More France stories.)

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