Real-life Spider-man wins French citizenship for heroism

Casey Dawson
May 31, 2018

"It is only right that the nation be grateful", Macron told the 22-year-old, adding that his immigration status would be "put in order".

The incident took place in Paris.

Mamoudou Gassama met with the French President after he climbed rapidly between balconies to rescue an infant hanging from a fourth floor balcony.

A video of Mamoudou Gassama's spectacular rescue went viral on social media and has been viewed millions of times.

Gassama has even been invited to the Elysee presidential palace to meet with President Emmanuel Macron on Monday morning, an official at Macron's office said.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo praised the young migrant on Twitter for his "act of bravery" as well as phoning him personally to "thank him warmly". The charges that have been levied against the father mean that should he be convicted, he could be imprisoned for up to two years.

In the video, we see that Mr. Gassama helps pull the child to safety with other people that live on the other apartment.

His mother was not in Paris at the time, and his father, who had apparently left the boy home alone, was questioned by authorities, a judicial source told Agence France-Presse.

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"He explained to me that he had arrived from Mali a few months ago dreaming of building his life here".

Mamoudou Gassama, 22, from Mali, is pictured during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron at the presidential Elysee Palace in Paris, Monday, May, 28, 2018.

"Because this is an exceptional act. we are obviously, today, going to regularise all your papers", Macron told him, also offering to begin naturalisation procedures so he can become French.

Two weeks later - after six years of struggling to secure legal residency in France - Mr Bathily was given a medal and a French passport by then President François Hollande.

"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. He said he didn't think twice.

Mr Gassama's four-storey dash is a reminder of another Malian hero who gained national prominence in January 2015 during an extremist attack on a Jewish supermarket in Paris.

"I wanted to act carefully above all and I certainly did not want to risk the child's life", he said.

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