A boy who was hanging from a balcony in the capital of France was saved by a Malian migrant after he climbed four floors with his bare hands. Now the family of the boy thank him.
Monday, May 28th, was a terrible day for a family living in Paris who left their child home alone and went for shopping. The four-year-old boy somehow got to the balcony and was only seconds away from a tragic end were it not for Mamoudou Gassana, a Malian immigrant who managed to climb four floors with his bare hands and save the kid. After this episode, everyone was calling him “Spiderman”.
The family of the boy has also expressed their sincere gratitude and thank Mamoudou for his courage.
“He’s truly a hero,” the boy’s grandmother said.
The good news for Mr. Gassama after this incident that could have ended so tragic is that he will be given citizenship. Additionally, the President of France, Emmanuel Macron insisted on thanking him personally for his courage, gave him a medal and even offered him a job opportunity in the fire service.
The bad news for the boy’s father, however, is that he will face charges of failing to accomplish his duties as a parent and look after the child.
Why was the four-year-old kid on the balcony?
How did this actually happen? What was doing a four-year-old boy on the balcony and why was he left home alone in the first place?
It appears that the father and the boy had been living in Paris for three weeks only after they moved from Réunion. The mother and the couple’s second child were still in Réunion at the grandmother’s and were due to join the boy and the father later in June.
The father, who lived on the sixth floor of a building located somewhere in northern Paris, decided to rush to the store to do some shopping and left the boy home alone. However, he did not stick only to shopping but remained longer outside in order to play Pokemon Go.
The boy had already fallen two floors but luckily, he somehow managed to grab hold of the balcony on the fourth floor.
In an interview she gave to Antenne Réunion, the boy’s mother said that this was not the first time the father left the boy alone and that he was not used to looking after his child.
“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 added.
Could the boy have been saved sooner?
The video that went viral these days showing the boy hanging by the balcony also had another adult on the fourth floor and who appeared to be close enough to the child in order to save him before the arrival of “Spiderman”.
In an interview he gave to Le Parisien newspaper, the neighbor claimed that even though he was close to the boy, he was only able to hold on to the child’s hand and not to pull him up due to a divider wall that was 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,” were his words.
The man let the firefighters come into his flat and climb over the divider. Fortunately, they reached Mr. Gassama and the boy and managed to save both of them.
Is the boy safe now?
Yes, the boy is safe now. The Frech authorities have taken him into care. For failing in his parent duty, the father could face up to two years in prison and a €30,000 fine ($35,000). The mother will also be soon interviewed by social workers.
The neighbor said that the boy was wearing a Spiderman outfit and had a torn nail and was bleeding from one of his toes.
Who is Mamoudou Gassama?
Mamoudou Gassama is a 22-year old from Mali, West Africa who left his native country in 2013.
In 2014 he reached Italy after crossing the Sahara Desert and traversed the Mediterranean Sea. At some point, he was also intercepted by police.
In the meeting he had with President Macron, Mr. Gassama told that he had chosen to come to France because he had no acquaintances or friends in Italy and his brother had been living in France for several years already.
“I had no means to live and no-one to help me,” he said to Mr. Macron. “I suffered a lot. We were caught and beaten but I did not lose hope.”