Paris, May 29 : The family of a four-year-old boy who was dramatically rescued after dangling from a balcony in Paris have expressed their gratitude to 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 rescue the child from danger. Gassama will be given French citizenship, the BBC reported on Tuesday.
The boy’s father, who had left him in the fourth-floor flat and gone shopping, faces charges of failing to look after his child.
On Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron personally thanked Gassama, gave him a medal for courage and said he would also be offered a role in the fire service.
The child had left Reunion Island, where his mother and grandmother live, about three weeks ago and moved to Paris to join his father, who was working there. His mother and the couple’s second child were due to join them in June.
His mother said 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 shopping, the boy’s father had delayed going home to play Pokemon Go, prosecutors said. The father is reported to have been left devastated by what happened, BBC reported.
The boy’s grandmother described her shock on seeing the video of her grandson hanging off the balcony, reports the BBC.
“Thankfully Gassama knew how to climb because there were a lot of people below but he didn’t just fold his arms. He raced up to the fourth floor. That was truly incredible. He was very brave,” she said.