'Spider-Man' praised as 'true hero' by family of boy left dangling while dad played Pokemon Go
Email 'Spider-Man' praised as 'true hero' by family of boy left dangling while dad played Pokemon Go
Updated May 29, 2018 20:18:30Video: The 22-year-old said he was walking past when he saw the young boy dangling from a fourth storey balcony (ABC News) Related Story: Real life 'Spider-Man' awarded French citizenship after saving boy dangling from Paris balcony Map: France
A migrant dub bed "Spider-Man" for his dramatic rescue of a four-year-old boy who was dangling from a Paris balcony has been hailed a "true hero" by the boy's family.
- The child was left alone by his father in a fourth-storey apartment
- The 22-year-old rescuer is a Malian immigrant who said he arrived a few months ago
- The boy's mother, who lives in Reunion, is heading to Paris to see her son
Incredible footage emerged yesterday showing 22-year-old Mamoudou Gassama risking his life as he climbed up several levels of the building to rescue the boy, who was clinging to a railing and glancing at the ground below as horrified witnesses looked on.
Mr Gassama reached the boy within seconds, prompting a loud cheer from the crowd below.
The video went viral and Mr Gassama was granted French citizenship after meeting with President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace.
The boy's father, who l eft him alone in the fourth-floor apartment to go shopping and delayed his return to play Pokemon Go on his smartphone, has appeared before court and faces charges of failing to look after his child, according to local reports.
The boy had left the French island of RÃ©union, where his mother and grandmother live, about three weeks ago and moved to Paris to join his father, who was working there.
His mother and the couple's second child were due to join them in June.
"It could have been worse so I'm relieved today," the boy's mother told broadcaster Antenne RÃ©union.
Photo: The French President suggested Mr Gassama become a firefighter. (AP: Thibault Camus, Pool)
"I can't justify what my husband did. People will say it could have happened to anyone and it has happened to other people. My son was just lucky."
She said her prayers and gratitude go out to Mr Gassama.
"I am hoping I can meet him," said the mother, who was heading to Paris to see her son.
The boy's grandmother spoke to French TV station RMC about his ordeal, calling her grandson's saviour "a true hero".
"My God, I was very shocked. My grandson, my grandson, save him!" she said.
"Thankfully he [Mr Gassama] knew how to climb because there were a lot of people below, but he didn't just fold his arms. He raced up to the fourth floor.
"That was truly incredible. He was very brave."
'Courage and devotion'
Mr Gassama, who arrived in France from Mali as an illegal immigrant, is set to have his application for residenc y approved and fast-tracked by Mr Macron.
"We'll obviously be setting all your papers straight and if you wish it, we will start the process of naturalisation so that you can become French," Mr Macron said during a one-on-one meeting in a gilded room of the Elysee Palace.
"What you have done corresponds with what firefighters do; if this fits your wishes, you could join the firefighters' corps so that you can do [such acts] on a daily basis."
Mr Macron awarded Mr Gassama with a medal from the prefecture for "courage and devotion".
"I did it because it was a child," Mr Gassama told French newspaper Le Parisien.
"I climbed â¦ thank God I saved him."Video: Mr Gassam a told Mr Macron he was "trembling" after saving the child. (Photo: AP: Thibault Camus) (ABC News)
Topics: human-interest, law-crime-and-justice, france, reunion
First posted May 29, 2018 20:15:12Source: Google News