RALEIGH — A Raleigh man arrested on a charge that he failed to pay child support could wind up spending time in prison for a second offense he was charged with while in jail: felony spitting.
Wake County Sheriff's officials on Wednesday charged Julius Cotton, 33, of 3208 Tradewind Court, after they accused him of spitting at a jail officer, according to an arrest warrant filed at the Wake County Magistrate's Office.
The charge, listed as "felony spitting" on the warrant, is more formally known as "malicious conduct by a prisoner."
The offense is a Class F felony, with a maximum punishment of nearly five years in prison, a Wake County magistrate said.
Wake County authorities arrested Cotton on Wednesday after he did not appear in court June 7 to answer charges that he failed to pay $6,545 in child support, court records show. The offense is a misdemeanor under North Carolina law.
The spitting charge against Cotton rose to the level of a felony because he was accused of emitting a bodily fluid on a jail official, the Wake magistrate said.
Cotton remained in custody at the Wake County jail Wednesday. In addition to paying the back child support that authorities say he owes, he must also post $5,000 in bail for the felony charge before he can be released, court records show.
Staff writer Thomasi McDonald can be reached at 829-4533 or thomasi.mcdonald @newsobserver.com.