The Malian migrant who scaled 4th-floors up a building to rescue a dangling toddler has been named an honorary French citizen after meeting with the president, Emmanuel Macron said.
Mamoudou Gassama – nicknamed the Spiderman of Paris – climbed the city apartment block to reach the helpless child.
The 22-year-old, who only arrived in the country a few months ago, had already been promised authorities would support his efforts to settle there after a video of his heroics went viral.
But, after meeting the French president at the Elysee Palace on Monday morning, he was told he would be made a naturalized citizen straight away.
Avec M. GASSAMA qui a sauvé samedi la vie d’un enfant en escaladant 4 étages à mains nues. Je lui ai annoncé qu’en reconnaissance de cet acte héroïque il allait être régularisé dans les plus brefs délais, et que la brigade des sapeurs-pompiers de Paris était prête à l’accueillir. Je l’ai également invité à déposer une demande de naturalisation. Car la France est une volonté, et M. GASSAMA a démontré avec engagement qu’il l’avait !
Macron personally thanked Gassama, gave him a medal for courage and said he would also be made a fireman, the AFP news agency reports.
Footage taken at the scene on Saturday night shows crowds watching in astonishment as the have-ago-hero climbs the four floors in less than a minute to pull the four-year-old to safety.
He told French broadcaster BFMTVafterwards: “I did not think, I saved him.”
He added: “When I took him in my arms, I spoke with him and asked: ‘Why did you do that?’ But he did not answer.”
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo lauded his actions and said she had called him to personally say thanks.