The father of the boy who was rescued dangling from a balcony in Paris by a hero dubbed 'Spiderman' was out shopping then lingered to play Pokemon Go, French authorities have reported.
On Monday, 22-year-old Malian migrant Mamoudou Gassama, who was in France illegally, made international news after a video emerged of him heroically scaling four floors of a high-rise building to save a four year old boy who was dangling off a balcony.
After an investigation, it has emerged that the father of the boy wasn't home because he'd gone shopping and then stayed out longer to play Pokemon Go on his phone, reports Fox News.
The unnamed father was detained overnight by French authorities in Paris for parental neglect, and charged with 'missing in action'.
The little boy's mother was also absent because she was visiting Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean with relatives, report ABC News.
Speaking to BFM-TV, prosecutor François Molins said:
He took a long time to return home because he had decided to play the smartphone game Pokémon Go when he left the store. He is devastated because he realises what he did, and the tragic consequences that it could have led to.
On Monday, French President Francios Macron met Gassama, lauded his heroic behaviour, and rewarded his bravery with a French citizenship, a job as a fireman, and a prestigious gold medal from the French state for “courage and devotion.”
Macron has come under fire for granting Gassama special status as French authorities prepare to evict 2,400 migrants from Paris, where they are living in makeshift accommodation.
During the meeting with Macron, Gassama explained what happened, and how he gained such courage:
I just didn’t have time to think, I ran across the road to go and save him. Just climbed up and thank God — God helped me. The more I climbed, the more I had the courage to climb up higher — that’s it.
This isn't Gassama's first heroic act.
After leaving Mali as a refugee, he endured a year in Libya as a migrant, where he was beaten by authorities. This did not crush his spirit, and in 2014 he took the perilous journey across the Mediterranean and he landed in Italy.
He then travelled to France to be with his brother, who has lived there for over 10 years.