The child almost fell off a fifth-floor balcony, hanging precariously on the edge, unable to move, when a young man saw a crowd around the building while passing by. He climbed up with unbelievable pace, rescuing the small boy from harm, French media BFMTV reported. The incident occurred in the French capital on Saturday.
"I did it because it was a child," Le Parisien newspaper quoted Gassama as saying. "I climbed… Thank God I saved him."
The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo has praised the hero and said she had talked to him on the phone, adding that the city would "support him in his efforts to settle in France."
Cet homme aussi téméraire que courageux a sauvé la vie d’un enfant au péril de la sienne. Je souhaiterais, comme nombre de Parisiens, savoir qui est le Spiderman du 18ème pour le féliciter.— Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo) 27 мая 2018 г.
"This reckless and brave man saved the life of a child at the risk of his own. I wish, like many other Parisians, to congratulate him, the Spiderman of the 18th [district]," the mayor wrote on her Twitter account.
The heroic deed has prompted a debate on social media, with many Twitter users praising the bravery of the migrant.
Incredible story from Paris of the 'spiderman' who scaled a building in seconds to rescue a child hanging off a balcony. The hero is an undocumented immigrant from Mali who has a now meeting with President Macron at the Elysée this Monday https://t.co/2Yedz4aWmn— Cath Norris-Trent (@cntrentF24) May 28, 2018
This is France: an undocumented migrant man from Mali saving a child dangling from balcony. Acted as a hero. French online petition to ask the President to give hime the right to stay in France and work. Proud of my birth country 👏🇫🇷 https://t.co/DyQ4xtOKV8— Natanael Bloch (@NatanaelBloch) May 28, 2018
Migrant from #Mali climbed from floor to floor and rescued a four-year old boy who was hanging from a fourth-floor #balcony— Mark Rager (@Hervorrager) May 28, 2018
Hope he is allowed to settle in #France
Every #migrant who saves #lifes should be welcomehttps://t.co/zUWqYG4Aojhttps://t.co/shiexfuDp9
Some people have also compared the stance of the French authorities and US President Donald Trump, who has been tough on illegal immigration.
While the American leader calls migrants animals, his French counterpart calls one of theirs a hero.— Kudsia Kahar (@Kudsia_Kahar) May 28, 2018
Mamoudou Gassama: Mali 'spiderman' wows France with Paris child rescue https://t.co/PsSkNqmgEP
Dear @realDonaldTrump & @GOP— Vega Star (@svega_star) May 28, 2018
His name is Mamoudou Gassama. He is a migrant from Mali. He is a person with compassion, love and a will to make the world a better place. He’s more of a man than any of you would ever understand. #HumanityFirst https://t.co/H0YrfoT0Zm https://t.co/5cV0rnKyhb
According to the BFMTV, President Emmanuel Macron met Gassama in Elysee Palace on Monday in order to thank him personally for his bravery and promised the young man he would be granted French citizenship and a job.