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Ride operator appears in court on NC fair injuries

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TimothyTutterow.jpg

MICHAEL BIESECKER
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- A ride operator facing criminal charges over injuries at the North Carolina State Fair has made his first court appearance.

Timothy Dwayne Tutterrow of Quitman, GA, faces three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, inflicting serious injury.

Wake County District Court Judge Keith Gregory declined to lower Tutterrow's $225,000 bond. The 46-year-old defendant was returned to jail in handcuffs.

The "Vortex" jolted into motion Thursday evening as people were exiting, dropping riders from heights of up to 30 feet. Wake Sheriff Donnie Harrison says the ride had been intentionally tampered with to bypass critical safety devices.

Three people remained hospitalized on Monday, including a 14-year-old child.

Records show Tutterrow has twice been arrested for drug charges, including a 2002 felony charge of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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