Paris Balcony Boy’s Family Thank Mali ‘Spiderman’ Mamoudou Gassama

 Paris Balcony Boy’s Family Thank Mali ‘Spiderman’ Mamoudou Gassama

French President Emmanuel Macron, left, meets with Mamoudou Gassama, 22, from Mali, at the presidential Elysee Palace in Paris, Monday, May, 28, 2018. Mamoudou Gassama living illegally in France is being honored by Macron for scaling an apartment building over the weekend to save a 4-year-old child dangling from a fifth-floor balcony. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, Pool)

The family of a small boy dramatically rescued after dangling from a balcony in Paris have expressed their gratitude the Malian man who saved him.

“He’s truly a hero,” the boy’s grandmother said of migrant Mamoudou Gassama, who scaled four floors to pluck the child from danger.

The four-year-old’s father, who had left him in their flat and gone shopping, faces charges of failing to look after his child, reports say.

Mr Gassama is to be given citizenship.

President Emmanuel Macron personally thanked him, gave him a medal for courage and said he would also be offered a role in the fire service.
More details have begun to emerge of the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Why was the boy on the balcony?
The boy left Réunion, where his mother and grandmother live, about three weeks ago and moved to Paris to join his father, who works in the city. His mother and the couple’s second child were due to join them in June.

The father lived on the sixth-floor of the building in northern Paris, the building’s concierge told BFMTV.

The boy had already fallen two storeys before somehow managing to grab hold of the fourth-floor balcony, according to this version of events.

When asked by a resident in the neighbouring fourth-floor flat where he lived, he is reported to have pointed upwards.

His mother told Antenne Réunion that the boy’s father was not used to looking after him on his own and had left him alone before.

“I can’t justify what my husband did. People will say it could have happened to anyone and it has happened to other people. My son was just lucky,” she said.

After doing the shopping, the boy’s father had delayed going home to play Pokemon Go, prosecutors said.

Could the neighbour have done more?
Some reaction to the incident has focused on a man on the balcony of the neighbouring fourth-floor flat, who appears to be close enough to the boy to lift him before Mr Gassama arrives.

But the neighbour told Le Parisien newspaper that he was holding on to the boy’s hand but could not pull him up because of a divider separating the two balconies.

“I didn’t want to take the risk of letting go of his hand, I thought it better to do things step by step,” he said.

He said the boy had been wearing a Spiderman outfit, was bleeding from his toe and had a torn nail.

Firefighters came into his flat and climbed over the balcony divider to reach the boy and Mr Gassama, he said.

Where is the boy now?
He has been taken into care by the French authorities, French media said.

The father is reported to have been left devastated by what happened, BFMTV said.

The French offence of failing in one’s legal duty as a parent can be punished by two years in prison and a fine of €30,000 ($35,000; £26,000).

Tolani Giwa

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