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‘Spider-Man’ who saved 4-year-old hanging from building offered French citizenship

FredBC77/Twitter BMFTV/YouTube (Fair Use) Kris Seavers

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An undocumented immigrant is being praised as a national hero in France after he scaled a building to save a young child hanging from a balcony.

The man, 22-year-old Mamoudou Gassama, met with French President Emmanuel Macon on Monday and was offered a path to French citizenship, plus a job with the Paris fire brigade, BuzzFeed News reported.

On Saturday, Gassama scaled an apartment building in fewer than 40 seconds to save the 4-year-old, who was clinging to the balcony railing on the fifth floor. A video that garnered millions of views on social media shows Gassama climbing to save the toddler as onlookers cheer.

https://twitter.com/FredBC77/status/1000794322109788161

After footage of the rescue went viral, French politicians thanked Gassama, who moved to Paris from Mali just a few months ago.

Macon said Gassama will be made a natural French citizen, according to the BBC and a Facebook post from the office of the presidency. Macon was also presented with a medal for courage and offered a position with the fire service.

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…

Posted by Emmanuel Macron on Monday, May 28, 2018

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, thanked Gassama in a phone call on Sunday.

“He explained to me that he arrived from Mali a few months ago while dreaming of building his life here. I replied that his heroic gesture is an example for all citizens and that the City of Paris will obviously be keen to support him in his efforts to settle in France,” Hidalgo tweeted, per BuzzFeed’s translation.

She also said he’s the “Spider-Man of the 18th,” referring to the Paris district where the incident happened.

According to French news station La Chaîne Info, the child’s father was placed in custody for alleged neglect. Gassama told BFM TV he saw the toddler hanging from the balcony because people were shouting on the street.

H/T BuzzFeed News

Kris Seavers

Kris Seavers

Kris Seavers is the Evening Editor for the Daily Dot, where she covers breaking news, politics, and LGBTQ issues. Her work has appeared in Central Texas publications, including Austin Monthly and San Antonio Magazine, and on NPR.