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Amusement ride owner charged in North Carolina fair accident

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Reuters) - An amusement ride owner has been charged with assault after five people were injured last month on a North Carolina State Fair ride that was found to have compromised safety devices, police said on Thursday.

The ride owner is the second man to be charged after fairgoers were injured in Raleigh, North Carolina, on October 24 when a ride called the Vortex restarted as they were getting off. On October 26, police arrested the ride's operator on felony assault charges connected to the incident.

Joshua Gene Macaroni, the amusement ride's owner, faces charges of felony assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, said the Wake County Sheriff's Office, which obtained warrants for his arrest on Wednesday.

A sheriff's spokesman would not say on Thursday whether Macaroni was in custody or provide more detail on what led to charges against him.

An investigation found that the ride, which flips and twirls passengers, had been tampered with and its safety devices compromised, Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said.

(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Grant McCool)