Lorenzo Bain, of Raeford, got onto the Scat, in which riders stand and are strapped in across the waist and shoulders, at a carnival at Cliffdale and Riley roads. Workers warned riders not to try to get out of their seats once the ride started, a Michaels Amusement official said.
Police said Bain was intoxicated when he removed his safety belt and climbed to the top of the ride. He then jumped 50 feet in the air and went head first into the bumper car metal frame, officers said.
Bain suffered severe head injuries and was airlifted to UNC Hospitals, where he was listed in fair condition Sunday afternoon.
Police arrested a friend of Bain who they say interfered with EMS workers. Secorry Douglas Finkley, 19, of Raeford, faces charges of delaying and obstructing emergency workers.
Michaels Amusement, which runs the carnival, voluntarily shut down.
Fayetteville police said they did not suspect any criminal wrongdoing caused the incident.