A 37-year-old banker from Turin is being hailed a hero after miraculously catching an Italian boy who fell from his family’s fifth-floor balcony on Saturday.
Mattia Aguzzi said he and his girlfriend were walking towards a bakery in the center of Turin. Italy just before 11 a.m. local time, when he heard a man yell for help from an upper floor apartment.
“I went out with my girlfriend to buy bread and we heard screams coming from a building that caught our attention,” he told CNN affiliate Sky24 outside the hospital where he was treated for minor injuries.
“I heard a man scream when he saw the girl leaning on the ledge. The little one was leaning more and more and she was climbing the ledge, she was holding on with only two arms and her legs were in the air, ”said Aguzzi.
He said he yelled to try to get the three-year-old’s attention to stop her from crawling any further, but when he realized she didn’t hear him, he timed his trajectory and stepped under her.
“I started yelling at her to stay put and go back inside, but she didn’t hear me. When I saw her fall from her, I stepped in the way, I closed my eyes and hoped that everything would be for the best, I blocked her, cushioning the blow and we both fell to the ground, ”she said.
“At first I didn’t feel any signs of life, then the baby started crying and I sighed with relief,” she said.
The girl’s parents went out into the street when they realized what had happened and the rescuers took the girl to the hospital. She said the girl’s parents were in shock, but the girl is “fine.”
Turin mayor Stefano Lo Russo called for Aguzzi to be honored.
“The action of Mattia Aguzzi, our fellow citizen who this morning, catching (the girl) on the fly, saved the life of the little girl who fell from the fifth floor, is a heroic and extraordinary gesture,” Lo Russo wrote in a Facebook post.
Parliamentarian Camilla Laureti also said she hoped to be awarded a national medal. “I propose that #MattiaAguzzi, who saved a girl who fell from the fifth floor, risking her own safety and probably her own life, receive the Gold Medal for Civil Valor!” she wrote in a mail on the social network X, formerly known as Twitter.
Italian Prime Minister Meloni stopped short of asking for official recognition of the banker and instead thanked him.
“The story of a girl who fell from the balcony of the fifth floor of a Turin building could have turned into a tragedy. But thanks to the speed of Mattia Aguzzi, who saw her fall and caught her in the air, her life was saved. Much honor and gratitude to this young hero,” she said. wrote the X of Sunday.
But the banker said that he is not a hero. “Don’t call me a hero. I did everything so naturally. I thought nothing of it and tried to do what needed to be done,” he said, before joking that the extra weight on him helped him. “And anyway now they don’t tell me I better lose a little weight anymore. He came out fine. What more could we want? Fate put us there. Chance, destiny. As far as I know, we’re all fine. And this, believe me, is the most beautiful thing.
Italian Carabinieri security forces are investigating the circumstances of the incident. CNN has reached out to Aguzzi for comment.