New York man falls to his death while rescuing cat that was stuck on tree

Marcial Rios-Aguilar 
By: Anika Rao 

A good Samaritan, who was trying to save a stranded cat on a tree fell to his death, according to press reports.

The 53-year-old Bronx, New York, man fell to his death while trying to rescue the cat from the tree early on Monday, according to police reports.

Marcial Rios-Aguilar climbed the tree in the Bronx, located at Bronx Park East and Allerton Avenue at 3:00 a.m. with a rope, police said.

The branch gave way, and Rios-Aguilar fell and died. The cat remained stuck on the tree.

"He loves animals. He was a good man," Manuel Cabrera, 36, whose wife is Rios-Aguilar’s cousin, said. "He helped people all the time," he added.

Six family members and friends gathered at the tree with flowers and candles to form a makeshift memorial. The rope that Rios-Aguilar used was still hanging on the tree, near the scared cat.

They prayed, wept and described the unemployed Rios-Aguilar, as a kind and generous man, who kept pet turtles and birds. He also often bought food for stray cats.

"He was very caring towards our children," Lourdes Castro, 34, who is the wife of Cabrera, said.