Trooper Has Run In 25 Of Race’s 26 Years
By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA – State Investigator Sales Caicedo and Trooper Ricky “Pit” Parisian, partners for four years, spent their shift on May 20, 1994, doing surveillance on an organized crime organization outside New York City.
After the shift, the two officers headed up Route 17. Caicedo was headed to Buffalo; Parisian took Exit 94, bound for Oneonta.
“As he was getting close to his exit, he got on the radio and said ‘See you Monday’,” said Caicedo, who was in Oneonta Sunday, Oct. 6, for the 26th annual Pit Run in his partner’s honor.
But by the time Caicedo got to Buffalo, he had “10 or 15 missed calls” on his pager. When he called his station, he learned Trooper Parisian had been shot and killed trying to foil an armed robbery at the Great American on Southside.
“He had such pride in his hometown,” said Caicedo. “He was always telling us we had to come visit. And we finally did – for his funeral.”
Caidedo was told to report to Oneonta to work on the case, and within a few days, the killer, Colin Hyde, a former Great American employee, was captured in Colorado.
“By the time we laid Ricky to rest, they had caught his killer,” he said. “It was good closure for the family.”
But his involvement with Ricky didn’t end there. “I stayed in touch with the family and ran in the first Pit Run,” he said. “You never know if these things will last, so when I got the invitation to the second year, I was really excited.
“And here we are, 26 years later!”
This year, 650 runners took the streets for the 5K and 10K, with 400 walking the two-mile stroll. “The elite runners were at the Wineglass Marathon in Corning,” said Ricky’s widow Deb Parisian. “But that’s just gave the local runners a chance to shine!”
Oneonta’s Michael Hamilton crossed the finish line with a time of 35:32 to take first place. “It was chilly, but people bundled up and came down,” she said. “And the rain held off until the park was cleaned up.”
Since 1994, Caicedo missed the Pit Run only once. “I was in Puerto Rico in 2017 when Hurricane Maria hit,” he said. “I was stranded for two weeks. I was so upset that I had to miss the race!”
This year, he brought along a new friend. “I was at a car show in September and there was an animal rescue organization that had some dogs and cats for adoption,” he said. “I took a picture of one and sent it to my wife and daughter as a joke, and they replied ‘too cute!’ I filled out an application, and we adopted it.”
Though the dog, a 20-month-old terrier mix, was originally named Malick, Caicedo wanted to change it, and with his family, began to choose a new name.
“We went back and forth, and then I said, ‘I know, I’ll name him Pit – for Ricky,’” he said.
With Pit alongside him, he completed the 5K in 34:30. “Not a bad time,” he said. “It’s always a great event.”