Father of child in 'Spiderman' rescue was reportedly off playing 'Pokémon Go'
The story of a dramatic rescue of a child that was dangling from a Paris balcony took a depressing turn on Tuesday when it was revealed that the child's father was off playing Pokémon Go at the time of the incident.
The child was rescued by 22-year-old Mamoudou Gassama, an undocumented Malian migrant. In the now-famous feat, Gassama scaled several stories, earning him the "Spiderman" nickname, to save the child.
But it turns out the child's father is now in very hot water over what he was doing at the time of the rescue. French prosecutor Francois Molins told a CNN affiliate that the father had gone grocery shopping, leaving the child alone and then proceeded to play Pokémon Go after leaving the shop. (The child's mother was away on a trip visiting family at the time.)
The father has been charged with "failure to meet parental obligations" and could face up to two years in prison if found guilty at trial, which is currently scheduled for September. According to Molins, the father is "devastated" by what's transpired.
Gassama, for his part, met with French President Emanuel Macron who said he would make Gassama a full French citizen.
In an Instagram post showing him meeting Gassama on Monday, Macron said:
With Mr Gassama who saved a child's life on Saturday by climbing 4 floors with his bare hands. I told him that in recognition of his heroic act he would have his papers in order as quickly as possible and that the Paris fire brigade would be keen to welcome him to their ranks. I also invited him to submit a naturalization request because France is built on desire and Mr Gassama's commitment clearly showed that he has that desire!
The family of the child also showered praise on Gassama, the child's grandmother calling the rescuer a "hero."