A boy left hanging off a Paris balcony before being rescued by a hero immigrant climber dubbed ‘Spider-Man’ had already fallen from the floor above, it emerged today.
The four-year-old clambered over the front of the first balcony and then dropped some 15ft on to another ledge below, an investigating source said.
He somehow ended up dangling off the second balcony before being saved by hero Mamoudou Gassama who was filmed scaling the side of the building to reach the child.
The twist in the saga came as the unnamed child’s father was threatened with two years in prison. He was out shopping and then playing video games on Saturday evening – so leaving his son alone on a balcony in the French capital’s 18th arrondissement.
A boy left hanging off a Paris balcony before being rescued by a hero immigrant climber dubbed ‘Spider-Man’ had already fallen from the floor above, it emerged today
Malian immigrant Mamoudou Gassama (right), dubbed Spider-Man for scaling four storeys to save a child dangling from a balcony in Paris, met French President Emmanuel Macron (left)on Monday
Mamoudou Gassama (pictured today), 22, was hailed a hero for single-handedly scaling the facade of an apartment block in the capital’s 18th arrondissement, and hauling the four-year-old to safety. He is pictured this morning displaying a certificate of courage and dedication signed by Paris Police Prefect Michel Delpuech
It was soon after 8pm that the child climbed over the front of the balcony and then dropped on to the front ledge of the balcony below.
‘How he didn’t keep falling at this point is beyond belief,’ said an investigating source. ‘Instead he seemed to stick to the side of the building, like another little Spider-Man’.
It was at this point that a crowd began gathering below, and hero climber Mamoudou Gassama scaled the building in under 30 seconds.
An astonishing video shows the Malian getting up to the boy, grabbing him by the left arm, and then pulling him to safety.
On Monday, President Emmanuel Macron invited Mr Gassama to the Elysee Palace, where he announced that the immigrant to France was to be made a citizen, and to get a job in the Paris fire service.
The four-year-old was filmed hanging on for his life outside an apartment on Rue Marx-Dormoy on Saturday afternoon, having been apparently left home alone while his father was out shopping
Gassama, 22, took less than 30 seconds to reach the child, and has since been compared to the Marvel superhero Spider-Man
Meanwhile, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said the boy’s 36-year-old father was on bail, and facing a charged of ‘failing in the legal obligations of a parent’ – an offense punishable by up to two years in prison.
He will next appear in court on September 25, while the boy remains in the custody of his mother on Reunion island, the French overseas territory in the Indian Ocean. None of the family can be named for legal reasons.
Mr Molins said: ‘The father left the flat just as the incident was unfolding. He went shopping and then decided to play Pokemon Go in the street which took a little time before he returned home.’
Asked why he took such a risk to save the boy, Gassama (above) told Le Parisien: ‘I did it because it’s a child’
After effortlessly making his ascent, encouraged by a crowd of onlookers, Gassama, originally from Mali, grabbed the boy and took him to safety
The prosecutor said the window in the family flat had been left open, and that there was no safety grille on the balcony.
Mr Molins said: ‘The father is very upset because he realises what he did and what could have happened.’
Mr Gassama, who has been compared to the Marvel comic superhero Spider-Man, arrived in France at the end of last year ‘dreaming of building his life’ in France.
He said: ‘I’m pleased because it’s the first time I’ve received a prize like this’.