Italy expressed its applause and admiration for the 37-year-old banker who saved a three-year-old girl from a heart-stopping fall off a fifth-floor balcony in Turin.
Mattia Aguzzi’s swift and selfless response prevented what could have been a tragic incident. The incident left both himself and the child with minor injuries.
Aguzzi and his girlfriend were on a routine stroll through the city centre on Saturday morning when piercing screams caught their attention. Looking up, they saw a young girl teetering on the edge of the fifth-floor balcony. Reacting without hesitation, Aguzzi shouted at her to stop, but she lost her grip and began to fall.
In a daring act of courage, Aguzzi positioned himself beneath the falling child, shielding her from the impact as they landed on the ground together. He saved the little girl by cushioning her.
At first, the child was motionless, he said. However, his fears were gone when she started to cry, he said, adding the child’s cries reassured him that she was alive and safe.
The Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, expressed deep gratitude for Aguzzi’s timely intervention. She commended his swift actions on social media, acknowledging that the situation could have taken a tragic turn without his bravery.
Local officials joined in the chorus of praise, with the mayor of Turin, Stefano Lo Russo, lauding Aguzzi’s heroic act as “extraordinary” and advocating for his recognition. Camilla Laureti, an MEP, proposed Aguzzi receive the Gold Medal for Civil Valour, highlighting his willingness to put his own safety at risk to save another life.
Despite the outpouring of love and admiration, Aguzzi himself remains humble. He brushed aside the title of “hero,” saying that his actions were instinctive, driven by the need to help. In a light-hearted manner, he even joked about his own weight aiding in the successful rescue.
The incident is now under investigation by Italy’s civilian police force, the Carabinieri.