PARIS (CNN/RNN) – A Malian migrant will be granted French citizenship after he climbed up the front of a building to save a 4-year-old dangling from a Parisian balcony.
Mamoudou Gassama, 22, met with French President Emmanuel Macron Monday, so the president could thank him personally. He has also been offered a job with the Paris fire brigade, announced Macron on Twitter.
"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 told the man, according to the Associated Press.
The 22-year-old, whom the Paris mayor dubbed “Spider-Man,” said he was about to watch a soccer game Saturday at a restaurant when he saw a lot of people yelling and cars honking.
Far above the crowd, a young boy was dangling from an apartment balcony.
“I got out and saw the child, who was about to fall from the balcony. I like children. I would have hated to see him get hurt in front of me. I ran, and I thought of ways to save him,” said Gassama in French.
The 22-year-old ended up scaling the front of the building, pulling himself up from balcony to balcony, until he made it to the 4-year-old and pulled him to safety from midair.
The daring feat was caught on video, which quickly went viral.
“Thank God, I scaled the front of the building to that balcony,” Gassama said. "I got on top of a door, and I managed to pull myself up from balcony to balcony. And thank God, I saved him."
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo called the 22-year-old to thank him and later praised him on Twitter.
“I told him that his heroic act is an example to all citizens and that the city of Paris will obviously be very keen to support him in his efforts to settle in France,” said Hidalgo in French.
Gassama said he had only been in France for a few months, and the AP reports he had been living in the country illegally.
The man said his older brother has lived in the country for decades, according to the AP.
According to CNN, the child’s father was out shopping when the incident occurred, and the AP reports he was detained for alleged parental neglect.
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