Macron rewards migrant hero who saved dangling child
31 May, 2018, 18:31 | Author: Dustin Murphy
Mamoudou Gassama, 22, from Mali, displayed a certificate of courage and dedication signed by Paris Police Prefect Michel Delpuech as he leaves the presidential Elysee Palace after his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, in Paris, May, 28, 2018.
Mamadou Gassama, a migrant from Mali, will receive French citizenship for his heroic acts of rescuing a child from a four-floor balcony in Paris.
Video footage of the incident was captured on Saturday in northern Paris and posted online.
The four-year-old was dramatically rescued by Mali migrant Mamoudou Gassama, who has been dubbed the real-life Spiderman, after he scaled four floors and pulled the toddler to safety.
French prosecutors said the boy's father left his young son at home to go shopping, but instead of coming right back, he chose to play Pokémon Go, the mobile game that achieved viral fame when it was released in 2016. "So we have decided not just to give him legal status, but to start a naturalization procedure, and offer him a placement with the Paris fire service, so he can show the same heroism every day".
She referred to him as the "Spiderman of the 18th", referring to the Paris district where the rescue took place, calling him an "example for all citizens".
The father of the boy faces two years in prison. He was an undocumented immigrant, and French authorities had the power to grant him citizenship in exceptional cases.
But Macron's visit with Gassama on Monday may have been an effort to send a message to voters by signaling a more welcoming attitude to a deserving migrant.
He told Mr Macron: "I just didn't have time to think, I ran across the road to go and save him. I went outside and I saw the kid hanging on the fourth floor", he told VOA.
"I saw a lot of people screaming, and cars honking", explained the man who has been presented as a hero by many media outlets.
Bathily, who had lived in France for the past nine years, was honoured with a medal and a French passport by then-President Francois Hollande. "I enjoyed talking with him today by phone, to thank him warmly", wrote Hidalgo.
"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", he said.
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