Salisbury High student accused of spitting on officer

Diego Santamaria
Diego Santamaria

A Salisbury High School student is accused of spitting on an officer and that earned him a felony charge Wednesday during a fire drill.

Diego Santamaria, 16, of the 100 block of West Thomas Street, was charged with misdemeanor larceny and felony malicious conduct by a prisoner.

A high school student had placed a cell phone on a ledge, authorities said, and the phone was stolen.

Police Capt. Shelia Lingle said the school resource officer reviewed video camera footage and saw Santamaria taking the phone.

“They went to approach (Santamaria) during a fire drill. The SRO told Santamaria to give the phone back,” Lingle said. “He acted like he didn’t know what was going on. They had him on video taking the phone and walking off with it.”

The school resource officer placed Santamaria under arrest, after which the student allegedly spit on the officer and called her a “pig.”

“When you start spitting, that is when you get that other charge. You spit on an officer, and that’s a felony,” Lingle said.

Lingle said the officer retrieved the phone.

Santamaria was taken to Rowan County Detention Center and held under a $2,500 bond.

Notice about comments: is pleased to offer readers the ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not If you find a comment that is objectionable, please click "report abuse" and we will review it for possible removal. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Use and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website. Full terms and conditions can be read here.

Do not post the following:

  • Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
  • Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
  • Personal attacks, insults or threats.
  • The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
  • Comments unrelated to the story.