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Ride operator in N.C. State fair incident denied reduced bail

By Steve Almasy, CNN
updated 4:45 PM EDT, Mon October 28, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Bail was kept at $225,000 while next court date was set for November 18
  • Timothy Dwayne Tutterrow is charged with assault with a deadly weapon
  • Tutterow is from Georgia but attorney argued he wasn't a flight risk
  • Five people were hurt in the incident

(CNN) -- A judge refused Monday to reduce the bail for a ride operator who has been charged with three felony counts of assault after five people were hurt on a ride at the North Carolina State Fair.

An attorney for Timothy Dwayne Tutterrow asked a Wake County judge to reduce the bail -- set at $225,000 -- arguing his client was no flight risk.

Judge Keith Gregory declined the motion, but said the issue could be discussed at a later date and scheduled Tutterow's second court appearance for November 18.

Tutterow, a 46-year-old from Quitman, Georgia, faces three felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious bodily injury.

Tutterow's lawyer, Roger Smith Jr., said his client is devastated by what happened.

"Tim would never intentionally harm anyone," he said. "He's a good man. He has a good heart."

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said Saturday investigators determined that the Vortex ride had been tampered with and "critical safety devices were compromised."

Witnesses said the ride had stopped Thursday night and people were getting off when it restarted, resulting in five injuries.

CNN affiliate WRAL reported that three of those hurt were still hospitalized at WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh as of Sunday. The two victims have been released.

A ride attendant -- not Tutterrow -- was among the injured, though it wasn't clear whether he was among those still in the hospital this weekend. The victims included family members between the ages of 14 and 39.

According to the sheriff's office, Tutterrow is an independent ride contractor for a company that only had one ride at the fair: the Vortex.

Wake County District Attorney Colon Wiloughby said Monday the investigation is ongoing and that it was unknown at this point if and when anyone else would be facing charges.

Dolores Quesenberry a spokeswoman for the state's Department of Labor, said operators are supposed to perform system checks three times a day during the fair and record the results in a logbook provided by the state.

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