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Ride Operator Arrested After Investigators Determined Equipment Had Been Tampered With

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — 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.

Fairgrounds Police secure a barricade around the Vortex after an accident closed the ride just after 9 p.m. on Thursday Oct. 24, 2013 at the N.C. State Fair in Raleigh, N.C. The accident occurred on the ride at the North Carolina State Fair on Thursday night, sending five people to the hospital with unknown injuries. (AP)

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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