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February 25, 2013

Changes, challenges made local news in February 1968

Carl Delberta made a big career move. A new kind of television programming debuted in our region. Gun control laws were a hot topic of debate, and Otsego County residents prepared to shell out a little more on their purchases. It was all part of what was going on in our area during February 1968.

Boxing great turns in badge

Ever since 1951, Patrolman Carl Delberta was a familiar figure at the corner of Dietz and Main Streets in Oneonta. While Carl liked his work, he had another calling to pursue. 

It was reported Friday, Feb. 2, that Delberta would resign from the Oneonta Police Department, effective March 1, to become the full-time director of the new Oneonta Boys Club on River Street, an organization he had founded in 1947. It was then housed in a barn in the back of the Oneonta VFW on Main Street.

Reflecting on his law enforcement career, Delberta said his most vivid memory was of a time when he and Patrolman Jack Erring were sent to the Oneonta Hotel, today’s 189 Main St., where a murder was reportedly in progress.

Upon reaching the room where the crime was committed, Delberta recalled that a man came out, and through the open door the patrolmen could see a beaten man on the floor with blood splashed about on walls, the rug, woodwork and bedding.

When halted and asked for identification, Delberta said the man took a swing and a miss at his jaw. Delberta countered with crisp right cross, flooring his assailant. The man popped right back up and challenged Delberta to a fight without the nightstick. Delberta accepted, blocking the man’s right arm with his left, flooring him again with another right cross.

After handcuffed and taken to the police station, Delberta said the man told him, “You’re not a hick cop from Oneonta, you must have come from New York.”

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