The operator of a ride that malfunctioned Thursday at the N.C. State Fair has been arrested after Wake County authorities said an investigation showed the ride had been intentionally tampered with.
Timothy Dwayne Tutterow, 46, of Quitman, Ga., faces three charges of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious bodily injury. Tutterow works for an independent ride contractor, officials said.
After inspection of the ride, we determined that it had been tampered with and critical safety devices were compromised, Wake Sheriff Donnie Harrison said.
Five people were hurt in the incident involving The Vortex ride.
Witnesses told investigators and The News & Observer that the ride restarted after an attendant released some of the restraints so that one set of riders could get off and another could get on.
At a news conference Saturday, Harrison said investigators are still examining the ride to learn exactly how it was tampered with.
Three people remained hospitalized on Saturday. They were identified by authorities as Anthony Gorham, 29; Kisha Gorham, 39; and a 14-year-old juvenile.
This is a developing story.