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 the fourth-floor 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.
The boy had left Réunion, 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 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.
The father is reported to have been left devastated by what happened, BFMTV said.
His mother is also due to be interviewed by social workers in Réunion, Antenne Réunion said.
Speaking to French TV station RMC, the boy’s grandmother described how she felt seeing the video of her grandson hanging off the balcony.
“My God, I was very shocked. My grandson, my grandson, save him!” she said.
“Thankfully he [Mr 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.
Paris balcony boy’s family thank Mali ‘Spiderman’ Mamoudou Gassama