NAPA, Calif. (KRON) – Nathan Ballard, a prominent Democratic strategist and longtime Gov. Gavin Newsom friend and adviser, was arrested on two felony domestic violence charges in Napa.

The allegations include the attempt to suffocate a four-year-old child with a pillow.

Ballard, 51, was booked on October 18 on two felony charges of willful cruelty to a child with possible injury and death and domestic violence, according to the Napa County Sheriff’s Office.

Anthony Brass, Ballard’s attorney, issued a written statement Thursday.

“I am confident that my client, Nathan Ballard, will be fully acquitted of these charges after the District Attorney’s Office has a chance to review the facts and learn all sides of the story,” Brass said.

According to the Sheriff’s Office report, the woman alleged that Ballard was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana and that as he pushed her, he also fell, cutting his nose and forehead when he hit the floor.

He then allegedly took a pillow, placed it over a 4-year-old girl “and attempted to suffocate the child with the pillow,” Wofford said.

“The adult victim was able to remove the child victim from the room and locked herself and another child (a 3-year-old boy) in a separate room,” Wofford said.

The woman called the Sheriff’s Office the following morning and by the time deputies arrived, Ballard was gone, according to Wofford. 

Online court records show a restraining order was granted to Ballard’s wife on Nov. 11.

“I am confident that my client, Nathan Ballard, will be fully acquitted of these charges after the District Attorney’s Office has a chance to review the facts and learn all sides of the story,” said attorney Anthony Brass in a written statement.

“Nate knows that he is not perfect, but he is facing his own challenges head-on. After nearly eight years of continuous sobriety, Nate resumed drinking in April, after his father died,” Brass said. 

“He is now clean and sober again, and he is currently in a residential recovery program to deal with his drinking problem in a responsible, comprehensive manner,” according to Brass.

Ballard is a well-known Democratic strategist who was Gov. Gavin Newsom’s communications director when Newsom was mayor of San Francisco.

Ballard started his career in San Francisco politics by serving as the deputy city attorney and spokesman for the city, alongside Kamala Harris. He has worked with other politicians including John Kerry, Jackie Speier, Ed Lee and Mark Farrell.

This adds to a recent rough patch for Newsom who admitted to attending a birthday party at the high-end French Laundry last month, which he was heavily criticized for.

Bay City News contributed to this report

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