Malian Migrant Rescues Young Child in Paris
A real-life Spiderman spring into action in Paris and saved a young boy dangling from a fourth floor balcony.
Mamoudou Gassama, a 22-year-old migrant from Mali, said he saw that the child was in danger in the neighborhood where he went Saturday to watch a soccer (football) match on a restaurant television.
He told CNN, “I like children. I would have hated to see him getting hurt in front of me. I ran and I looked for solutions to save him and thank God I scaled the front of the building to the balcony.”
Video footage of the rescue shows Gassama, using just his bare hands, climbing from balcony to balcony. A man on the fourth floor was leaning across another balcony and was struggling to hold on to the child.
Gassama reached the fourth floor balcony and rescued the boy with one hand.
By the time firefighters arrived on the scene, the four-year-old was safe.
“Luckily, there was someone who was physically fit and who had the courage to go and get the child,” a fire service spokesman told AFP, the French news agency.
Gassama is being widely hailed as a hero. French President Emmanuel Macron thanked the young migrant personally Monday at the Elysee Palace where Gassama told the president that “God helped me” with the rescue. He said,”The more I climbed, the more I had the courage to climb up higher.”
President Macron announced Gassama will be become a naturalized French citizen and offered a job with the fire department.
Paris Mayor Anne HiIdalgo said on Twitter she had phoned Gassama to thank him for his courageous act.
“He explained to me that he arrived from Mali a few months ago with the dream of making a life for himself here. I replied that his heroic act is an example for all citizens and that the City of Paris will obviously be keen to support him in his efforts to settle in France,” she posted on Twitter.
According to AFP, the child’s parents were not home at the time of the incident. The mother was out of town and the child’s father is scheduled to appear in court Monday after being held for questioning about why he had left his child unattended.