Owner of NC State Fair ride surrenders to police
The owner of a ride at the North Carolina State Fair that investigators say injured five people after safety equipment was tampered with has surrendered to police.
Attorney Dan Boyce confirmed Thursday night that 32-year-old Joshua Gene Macaroni turned himself in, one day after warrants were issued.
Boyce said Macaroni is scheduled to appear in court on Friday.
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 Wake County Sheriff's Office has obtained warrants for the arrest of Joshua Macaroni in connection with the Vortex ride incident at the N.C. State Fair last month.
Macaroni was charged with two counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, and one count of felony assault on a juvenile with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.
Macaroni is not presently in custody.
On Oct. 24, passengers were just getting off the Vortex when it jerked back into motion, sending people "falling like rain drops." The five people injured fell onto the ride's metal platform. Three of them were seriously injured.
An eyewitness says she saw the ride operator, 46-year-old Tim Tutterrow, first try to help and then have an emotional meltdown.
Tutterrow has been charged with three felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious bodily injury in connection with the mishap.
A spokesperson for the company that owns the ride, based in Georgia, told ABC11 that Tutterrow has been the primary operator on this ride since the company bought it back in March.
ABC11 has learned the ride has been to seven state fairs since then, and before coming to Raleigh, had 250,000 people on it, without incident.
Sources told ABC11 that there is no evidence that Tutterrow intentionally tried to hurt anyone. They said the case is very comparable to DWI cases where people have been convicted of assault with a deadly weapon. They may not have intended to hurt anyone by driving drunk, but should have known that was a possibility - therefore they are considered criminally culpable.
A judge declined to lower Tutterrow's $225,000 bond after prosecutors said he lives out of state, and could be considered a flight risk.
For more information, visit WTVD.