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'Spider-Man' who climbed building to save child gets firefighter job

French President Emmanuel Macron praised the quick-thinking hero and rewarded him with a job and French citizenship


By Christopher Brennan
New York Daily News

PARIS — An African immigrant who scaled the outside of a Paris building to rescue a 4-year-old boy hanging from a balcony by his fingertips was rewarded Monday with French citizenship and a job as a firefighter.

French officials dubbed Mamoudou Gassama "Spiderman" after he quickly sprang, climbed and leaped into action when he saw the terrified tot dangling outside an apartment building four stories above the ground Saturday night.

Gassama, a 22-year-old immigrant from Mali, used his bare hands to scale the outside of the northern Paris building up to the balcony until, like a streak of light, he arrived just in time.

Viral video shared on social networks showed him reach the child and whisk him to safety to the cheers of an anxious crowd.

The boy's 36-year-old father was detained overnight for alleged parental neglect. He told police he left his son alone to go shopping, and returned home later than planned after he got wrapped up in a game of Pokemon Go.

Gassama said he did not hesitate.

"I did it because it was a child," Gassama said, according to French newspaper Le Parisien. "Thank God I saved him."

French President Emmanuel Macron praised the quick-thinking hero, and rewarded him with a job and French citizenship.

"Bravo," Macron said. "You saved a child. Without you, no one knows what would have become of him. You need courage and the capability to do that."

Macron's citizenship gift comes as the president faces criticism for backing a bill that strengthens French immigration law.

Copyright 2018 New York Daily News

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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