When you climb aboard a ride that whirls, spins and otherwise flips riders around throughout space in a thrilling manner, you’re trusting that the person behind the controls wants everything to run smoothly. But police in North Carolina say a worker at the state fair tampered with a ride on purpose, leaving five people injured as a result.
Police charged the 46-year-old ride operator with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious bodily injury on Saturday, reports the Los Angeles Times.
On Thursday night police say he was behind the controls of a ride that flips and spins riders, when those nearby said it restarted as people were still exiting the ride. Some riders were thrown to the ground and knocked unconscious, with five total injuries reported. Three fairgoers are still in the hospital.
“We’re comforted to have some answers as to why the accident occurred and why those people were injured,” a state fair spokesman said over the weekend. “But we’re also upset that it appears someone tampered with a ride in order to hurt people.”
Police investigated along with the state’s Department of Labor to determine that important safety features had been futzed with by the operator, who only worked on that one ride at the fair.
N.C. fair operator accused of tampering with ride that injured 5 [Los Angeles Times]