Owner of carnival ride arrested in NC State Fair accident that injured five

Emergency crews on the scene Oct. 24 after an accident at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh. Alison Blevins / WNCN

The owner of the carnival ride that injured five people last month at the North Carolina State Fair surrendered to police Thursday on three felony assault charges, authorities said.

The Wake County Sheriff's Office said Joshua Gene Macaroni, 32, of Quitman, Ga., turned himself in in connection with the incident Oct. 24, when the Vortex, a pendulum-swing thrill ride at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, jolted back to a start as riders were getting off.

Five people were injured, three of whom remained in the hospital Thursday. Their conditions weren't reported.

Macaroni — the son of Dominic and Ruby Macaroni, founder of Family Attractions Amusement Co., based in Georgia — is listed as the owner of the Vortex ride. He was charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and one count of felony assault on a juvenile with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.

Authorities wouldn't say why or how they thought Macaroni might have been involved in the incident, in which he is the second person to face charges. They said the ride's safety mechanisms had been tampered with.

Macaroni's attorney, Dan Boyce, said in a statement that the family was "puzzled as to why Josh was charged."

"We look forward to working with law enforcement so we can learn their theory on why Josh is somehow partly responsible for this terrible tragedy," he said.

The ride's operator, independent contractor Timothy Dwayne Tutterrow, 46, also of Quitman, was arrested two days after the incident and faces three counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious bodily injury.

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