PARIS, France — French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday met with the migrant from Mali whose heroic “Spiderman” like scaling of an apartment building to save a young child dangling from a balcony caught international attention for his bravery. Macron said that 22-year-old Mamoudou Gassama would be rewarded for his “exceptional act” with papers to legalize his stay, citizenship if he wants and a job as a firefighter.
“I ran. I crossed the street to save him,” he told Macron. He said he didn’t think twice. “When I started to climb, it gave me courage to keep climbing.”
God “helped me,” too, he said. “Thank God I saved him.”
Gassama climbed some four stories to rescue a four-year-old boy to safety Saturday night in Paris’ northern 18th district.
“Because this is an exceptional act … we are obviously, today, going to regularize all your papers,” Macron told him, also offering to begin naturalization procedures so he can become French.
Mamoudou Gassama: Mali 'spiderman' wows France with Paris child rescue https://t.co/8bvIYqBeS2
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) 28 maj 2018
The French president said Gassama’s actions made him deserving of special treatment.
“You saved a child. Without you, no one knows what would have become of him,” the president said. “You need courage and the capability to do that.”
Working as a firefighter corresponds with his skills, Macron said, and opened the door for him to join.
“You have become an example because millions have seen you” on social media, the president said.
The French media reported that the father of the small child was detained for alleged parental neglect.