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Oneonta 'Pit Run' draws huge crowd
ONEONTA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The 19th annual Pit Run saw more than 1,700 runners turn out to honor State Police Officer Ricky 'Pit' Parisian who was gunned down in 1994 while trying to stop a robbery at an Oneonta grocery store.
Parisian's cousin, Terry Parisian, says the family really appreciates what the community has done over the years for a man whose first instinct was to protect others. She said, "you can see in that act of bravery that night. It was an armed robbery at a grocery store and Rickey just did what comes natural to him."
Oneonta resident Bonnie Havens, who turned out Sunday to support the runners says Rickey had been a friend since high school. She said, "He was inspirational to many of us. Helping each other and giving back to each other was what he was all about."
Parisian was grocery shopping with his wife when he attempted to stop the armed robbery in progress.
After ensuring that customers and employees were safe, he confronted the robber, a scuffle ensued, and in trying to tackle the robber, Ricky was shot in the chest.
He died as a result, but not before pulling off the robber's mask so that he could be identified, caught, and tried.
Ricky's family members say to see the number of people participating in this event grow each year is a wonderful tribute and the money raised goes toward scholarships in Pit's name.