[UPDATE BELOW]A man fell to his death from a tree while trying to rescue a cat early this morning in the Bronx. The Daily News' police sources called the incident a "tragic accident," and said that the 53-year-old man "was climbing a tree in a failed attempt to rescue a cat. The branch gave way and he fell."
The sources add that the man, whose name hasn't been released pending family notification, fell at Bronx Park East and Allerton Avenue at around 3 a.m.
[UPDATE // 1:45PM]The Daily News is now reporting that the victim is Marcial Rios-Aguilar, and neighbors describe him as an animal lover who kept various pets and bought food for stray cats. "He loves animals. He was a nice man,” said Manuel Cabrera, who is the husband of one of Aguilar's cousins. Rios-Aguilar, who kept turtles and birds as pets, apparently used a rope to scale the tree to rescue the cat before the branch broke. “We are not sure why he was there—he likes to go out to collect metal from the garbage,” Cabrera added. “Whatever money he gets he sends to his mother in Mexico. He spoke to her just yesterday."
As of 12:30 this afternoon, the FDNY was attempting to retrieve the cat.