A young man in France is being hailed as a hero after he scaled four stories to save a child dangling from a balcony in Paris.
The Guardian reports that Mamoudou Gassama, 22, has been honored by France’s President Emmanuel Macron after Gassama was recorded on video climbing a building to save a little boy who was hanging from a fourth-story balcony.
In the viral video, Gassama is seen pulling himself up the building, balcony to balcony, to reach the four-year-old child. It is unclear how the child ended up dangling from the balcony, and the identity of another adult in the video is not known. Gassama has been given the nickname ‘Le Spider-man’ because of his impressive act.
Gassama is an undocumented migrant from Mali, and risked not only his physical safety but possible deportation due to the attention he received. But rather than penalizing him, the French government has honored his bravery with a medal, a job offer from Paris’s fire and emergency service, and a promise from President Macron to fast-track a process to gain citizenship.
In a meeting with the president, Gassama said he acted quickly when he realized the child was in danger.
“There were people shouting and honking their horns … I didn’t think of anything, I ran across the road directly to save him. Thank God I saved him.”
He also said he asked the child how he ended up hanging from the balcony, but the little boy did not respond.
According to The Guardian, Gassama appeared to be overwhelmed and grateful after his visit with the president.
“He gave me a present,” he said of Macron. “It’s the first time I’ve had anything like this. I’m very happy.”