Arrest warrants issued for Vortex ride owner's son in State Fair accident


The Wake County Sheriff's Office says the son of the family that owns the ride -- Family Attractions -- is now facing several counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

ABC11 has learned that Joshua Macaroni is on his way to Raleigh from south Georgia to face those charges here.

The sheriff's office says they have arrest warrants for Macaroni in connection to the night when the Vortex went out of control. It dropped several people to the ground. Three people remain in the hospital.

Macaroni is charged with two counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon and one count of the same charge but against a juvenile since one of those hurt is a teenager.

Macaroni is the son of those who own the Vortex and the company Family Attractions.

A spokesperson there says Joshua Macaroni is not an owner, but does work for the company. They say he was not at the fair when the ride went out of control.

ABC11 reached out to Macaroni's family and Family Attractions for comment, but they would only send this statement: "We have just learned of these charges and Dominic and Ruby Macaroni are very concerned, of course, for their son. Still, their thoughts and prayers are with the persons injured in this terrible accident."

The company attorney told ABC11 said he is not representing Macaroni. However, he said Dan Boyce of Nexsen Pruet, in Raleigh, is. We tried contacting him, but were not successful.

When Macaroni could show up in Raleigh to face these charges, is unknown.

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.

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