Most undocumented migrants would keep their heads down and try to avoid drawing attention to themselves. However, when Mamoudou Gassama, 22, saw a small child, hanging from the railing of a 4th floor Paris flat, he didn’t think twice. He scaled the building and rescued the child, leading to promises from President Emmanuel Macron of French citizenship and a job.

Illegal Mali migrant becomes a hero in Paris

Gassama was passing the apartment building in Paris when he spotted the four-year-old child, dangling precariously from the railing of a balcony.

His instant reaction was to help, even if it could mean deportation to his home in Mali. In an incredible feat of bravery and strength, Gassama risked his own life by scaling the building, climbing from one balcony to the next. This feat of bravery led to him earning the nickname of “Le Spider-Man” in the French capital.

In the video included here, he can clearly be seen, scaling the balconies of the apartment building until he gets to the fourth floor and lifts the child to safety. It turns out the child was originally on the fifth floor and had already fallen one storey before being spotted.

After video footage of the hero went viral on Monday, Gassama was soon hailed to be a hero, but attention soon turned to his status as one of many migrants in France who are “sans papiers” (without papers).

His status meant Gassama had no access to proper housing and employment and also had no right to remain in the country. However, the fact of his illegal status did him no harm and in fact, Gassama was invited to the Élysée Palace to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Hero interviewed by President Emmanuel Macron

Macron promised that the hero would receive official documents that would allow him to stay in the country, along with the possibility to receive French citizenship.

As reported by the Guardian, due to his obvious skills in scaling the apartment building, he was also offered employment with the Paris fire and emergency service. Macron also handed Gassama a medal for his brave act which offered him the country’s gratitude.

While being interviewed by Macron, he described the moment he saw the young child dangling from the railing on the fourth floor of the apartment building, as he passed by on Saturday at 8 PM on his way out for the evening.

He said he acted instantly and “without thinking.” He said he heard the honking of horns and people in the streets shouting and didn’t stop to think, running across the road to save the small boy. Gassama only realised what he had done after he pulled the boy to safety. He said once he was inside the apartment, his legs went wobbly.

‘Spider-Man’s’ brother asks for legal status in France

Gassama’s brother Diaby also visited the palace and when asked initially if he had something to say to President Macron, Gassama felt overwhelmed. However, Diaby instantly spoke for both of them, asking Macron for their presence in France to be made official. He admitted they had no papers and that they wanted them so they could find somewhere decent to live and to enable them to work legally in France.

Macron gave undocumented migrant a ‘present’

In an interview with BFM TV, Gassama said once he had the boy safely in his arms, he asked him why he did that, but the child, probably in shock, did not initially reply. While he felt overwhelmed by all the journalists and reporters surrounding him as he left the palace, he spoke of Macron and how the French president that given him a “present,” and that this is the first time in his life he had been offered anything like that. He ended up by saying he was “very happy.” French interior minister, Gérard Collomb, told reporters that he would personally make sure that Gassama’s request to stay legally would be accepted.

Father playing Pokemon Go, leaving child alone

Later it was revealed that the boy had said his mother was out attending a party and his father was taken in by police overnight on possible charges of parental neglect. The Evening Standard reports that the father was out playing Pokemon Go at the time of the incident. The window of the apartment had been left open, allowing the child to easily climb out. The father is due to attend court in September. According to police, the boy’s mother was actually out of Paris when it happened and the young boy has been taken into the care of Paris social services.