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NEW INFO: State Fair Ride Owner Charged With Felony Assault

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Authorities have issued arrest warrants for the owner of a ride at the North Carolina State Fair that investigators say injured five people after safety equipment was tampered with.

The Wake County Sheriff's Office said the warrants for 32-year-old Joshua Gene Macaroni were issued Wednesday. The statement said Macaroni is charged with two felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, and a third felony charge of assaulting a juvenile.

Two adults and a 14-year-old remained hospitalized in Raleigh almost two weeks after being thrown from "The Vortex." Two others were treated and released.

The ride is owned by Macaroni's family business, Family Attractions Amusement Co. of Valdosta, Ga. A company spokeswoman said Macaroni is represented by attorney Dan Boyce, who did not return telephone calls and emails.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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October 28, 2013

A ride operator facing criminal charges over injuries at the North Carolina State Fair has made his first court appearance.

Timothy Dwayne Tutterrow of Quitman, Ga., faces three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, inflicting serious injury.

Wake County District Court Judge Keith Gregory declined to lower Tutterrow's $225,000 bond. The 46-year-old defendant was returned to jail in handcuffs.

The "Vortex" jolted into motion Thursday evening as people were exiting, dropping riders from heights of up to 30 feet. Wake Sheriff Donnie Harrison says the ride had been intentionally tampered with to bypass critical safety devices.

Three people remained hospitalized on Monday, including a 14-year-old child.

Records show Tutterrow has twice been arrested for drug charges, including a 2002 felony charge of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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A ride operator facing criminal charges over injuries at the North Carolina State Fair was previously arrested on drug charges, according to court records.

Timothy Dwayne Tutterrow, 46, of Quitman, Ga., is due in court Monday afternoon to face three criminal counts of assault with a deadly weapon. Tutterrow is in jail on $225,000 bond.

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said investigators determined the ride Tutterrow was operating had been tampered with to bypass critical safety devices. The "Vortex" jolted into motion Thursday evening as people were exiting, dropping riders from heights eyewitnesses estimated at up to 30 feet.

Three people remain hospitalized, including a 14-year-old child. Two others were treated and released.

Records show Tutterrow has previously been arrested on felony drug charges in Kentucky and Georgia, including a 2002 conviction for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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An amusement ride operator is in jail after investigators say someone tampered with a ride at the North Carolina State Fair and compromised safety devices.

Timothy Dwayne Tutterrow of Quitman, Ga., faces three counts of assault with a deadly weapon. He operated the ride when five people were hurt Thursday. Tutterrow is due in court Monday. Reached by phone Sunday, his attorney declined to comment.

WakeMed hospital spokesman Thomas Morris said three people remained in the Raleigh hospital Sunday after the ride on the state fair's midway suddenly jolted into gear as people were exiting, dropping some riders from what eyewitnesses estimated to be 20 or 30 feet in the air.

Reached by phone Sunday, the family of 29-year-old Anthony Gorham and 39-year-old Kisha Gorham declined to talk about the victims. They and an unnamed 14-year-old were hurt.

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Authorities say a man who was operating a ride at the North Carolina State Fair has been charged with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon after the ride injured five people.

The fair said in a news release Saturday that 46-year-old Timothy Dwayne Tutterrow, of Quitman, Ga., had been arrested. Witnesses say the ride had stopped and people were getting off when it started moving again.

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said after inspecting the ride, investigators determined it had been tampered with and critical safety devices were compromised.

Tutterrow is employed by an independent ride contractor. A telephone call to Tutterrow was not immediately returned.

Three people are still in the hospital.

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A ride that malfunctioned Thursday night at the North Carolina State Fair had been shut down three days earlier because of a bad switch.

Five people were injured in the accident of the Vortex ride. Three of those victims remain hospitalized.

At a Friday morning news conference, the state Department of Labor says a switch which locks riders in their seats failed on Monday. Tom Chambers says the attraction was shut down and the switch was replaced.

Chambers says the ride was allowed to reopen after it was inspected again by the state.

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison says the five people were hurt when operators were off-loading passengers and the ride suddenly started again. Harrison says they have yet to determine what caused Thursday night's accident.

Victims range in age from 14 to 39 years old.

This is the first major ride accident at the North Carolina State Fair in ten years.

Fair officials say the ride will not reopen before the fair closes Sunday.


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A ride has malfunctioned at the North Carolina State Fair, sending five people to the hospital with unknown injuries.

State Fair spokesman Brian Long said five people were brought to WakeMed hospital in Raleigh on Thursday night following the accident. He had no details on what caused the accident. Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said the injured range in age from 14 to 39, and two were in serious condition.

Television station WRAL in Raleigh quoted witnesses as saying that several people were thrown off the Vortex ride and that some were unconscious.

A witness identified as Caleb Norris told WNCN television that he heard a crashing sound just after getting off the Vortex. He turned around and saw two people lying face down.

This is the first major ride accident at the North Carolina State Fair in ten years.


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