Police secure a barricade around the 'Vortex' ride after an accident closed the ride on Oct. 24, 2013, at the N.C. State Fair in Raleigh. / Robert Willett, AP
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A ride operator facing criminal charges over injuries at the North Carolina State Fair was previously arrested on drug charges, according to court records.
Timothy Dwayne Tutterrow, 46, of Quitman, Ga., is due in court Monday afternoon to face three criminal counts of assault with a deadly weapon. Tutterrow is in jail on $225,000 bond.
Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said investigators determined the ride Tutterrow was operating had been tampered with to bypass critical safety devices. The "Vortex" jolted into motion Thursday evening as people were exiting, dropping riders from heights eyewitnesses estimated at up to 30 feet.
Three people remain hospitalized, including a 14-yer-old child. Two others were treated and released.
Records show Tutterrow has previously been arrested on felony drug charges in Kentucky and Georgia, including a 2002 conviction for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.
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