RALEIGH — The second man charged in the Vortex ride disaster was preparing to return to North Carolina on Wednesday night, according to a spokeswoman for the company that operates the ride.
The Wake County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday obtained arrest warrants for Joshua Gene Macaroni, an employee of Family Attractions Amusement Co. of Valdosta, Ga. Investigators have charged Macaroni with two counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and one count of felony assault on a juvenile with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.
Macaroni is the son of Dominic and Ruby Macaroni, who own Family Attractions.
“We have just learned of these charges, and Dominic and Ruby Macaroni are very concerned, of course, for their son,” wrote company spokeswoman Joyce Fitzpatrick in a text message. “Still, their thoughts and prayers are with the persons injured in this terrible accident.”
Fitzpatrick confirmed that Joshua Macaroni was planning to come from out-of-state to turn himself in to authorities.
Five people were seriously injured when the Vortex started moving as people were getting off the ride on the night of Oct. 24. Wake County sheriff's investigators think that intentional tampering to keep the ride running disabled safety features that would have kept it from starting up while people were getting on or off the ride. One of the operators, Timothy Tutterrow, was previously charged with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.
WakeMed is no longer releasing information about the three people – ages 39, 29 and 14 – who were hospitalized with serious injuries.
The sheriff’s office declined to provide further information on the charges against Macaroni.
Kenney: 919-829-4870; Twitter: @KenneyNC