LIFE

‘Paris Spider-Man’ Saves Child Dangling From Fourth-Floor Balcony

by Giovanna Boldrini
Giovanna was born in Rome, Italy and currently resides in South Salem, New York. In her free time, she likes to cook with her children and grandchildren.

A 22-year-old nicknamed “the Paris Spider-Man” just might be the most talked-about person in France this week — and for good reason.

According to NPR, Mali native Mamoudou Gassama had been living in Paris as an undocumented worker ever since he arrived in the French capital six months ago. Since then, it’s been his dream to earn his citizenship in the country he loves.

Over the weekend, Gassama was walking home from the train station on what was supposed to be a typical afternoon when he came across a crowd of terrified pedestrians staring upwards. What happened next is already the stuff of legends.

The Climb

The Climb

Four stories up, a young boy was hanging off the balcony of an apartment building. The crowd below was pointing to the child in a panic, unable to help him.

Gassama didn’t hesitate; he knew what to do. He immediately ran towards the building and started scaling the balconies like it was NBD, racing to reach the endangered child before his strength gave out. After some deft leaps, he was able to reach the child and pull him to safety.

The Aftermath

The Reactions

The outpouring of love and support for Gassama’s heroics was loud and constant, with many people on social media demanding that he be made a French citizen.

The first major public figure to reach out to Gassama was Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, who posted the following message on Twitter:

“Congratulations to Mamoudou Gassama for his brave act that helped save a child’s life last night,” her tweet reads. “I had the pleasure to talk with him today by phone, to thank him warmly.”

Mayor Hidalgo would later tell Reuters, “[Gassama] explained to me that he arrived from Mali a few months ago while dreaming of building his life here. I replied that his heroic gesture is an example for all citizens and that the City of Paris will obviously be keen to support him in his efforts to settle in France.”

A Meeting With The President

A Meeting With The President

It didn’t take long for French President Emmanuel Macron to invite “Spider-Man” to Elysee Palace for a one-on-one meeting.

Bussiness Insider reports that in their meeting, Macron told Gassma, “We’ll obviously be setting all your papers straight and if you wish it, we will start the process of naturalization so that you can become French.”

Merci au pompier de Paris @pompier_du_13 #mamoudougassama #mercimacron #mercilafrance

A post shared by mamoudou (@gassama_mamoudou5) on

Gassama was also offered work with the Paris Fire Department, who wanted to help him put his amazing skills to good use.

Just Desserts

Just Desserts

Gassama has since been granted legal immigration status in France!

He’s also (rightfully) received a medal and certificate of bravery from Macron.

Cheers to a true hero and his spidey sense!