Gavin Newsom Aide Arrested for Trying to ‘Suffocate Child with a Pillow’
Nathan Ballard arrested after consuming large amounts of alcohol and marijuana
California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom's longtime ally has been arrested and jailed on multiple charges, including allegations he attempted to suffocate a child with a pillow.
51-year-old Nathan Ballard was arrested and jailed on multiple felony domestic violence charges, including two felony charges of willful child cruelty with possible injury and death.
According to documents on file with the Napa County Sheriff’s Office, other charges included domestic violence, Poltico reported.
Ballard is a “friend and adviser” to Democrat Newsom, according to The Sacramento Bee.
He was also referred to as “longtime Newsom aide" by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Ballard had reportedly “consumed a large amount of alcohol and some marijuana," sources told Poltico.
The Newsom aid also pushed a woman into a glass door, causing her to fall and injure her head.
The woman told police Ballard then “attempted to suffocate the child victim with the pillow,” Politico reported.
“Ballard grabbed the pillow from the bed, placed it onto the child victim, and laid on top of the pillow, placing his weight on the child victim who was under the pillow.”
“Nate and Mara went on an overnight vacation to Napa on Oct. 17 with their two young children."
Tony Brass, Ballard’s attorney, said in a statement Thursday:
"That night, after they both had too much to drink, they had an argument."
“Nate was the only one who emerged with any injuries. I saw and documented those injuries firsthand.”
“Nate knows that he is not perfect, but he is facing his own challenges head-on,” Brass said.
“After nearly eight years of continuous sobriety, Nate resumed drinking in April, after his father died."
"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."
"He is a good father, he has his children’s best interests at heart, and he wants to resolve this matter privately, quickly, and fairly for their sake.”
Ballard currently runs a public relations agency and advises high-profile clients, Fortune 100 companies, and tech industries.
The Sacramento Bee reports:
In addition to once serving on Newsom’s staff, Ballard also served as spokesman for past Democratic presidential candidates Sen. John Kerry and General Wesley Clark and once served as communications director for the Democratic National Committee, the California Labor Federation.
The news comes just weeks after Newsom was caught failing to adhere to coronavirus health guidelines by “allegedly eating at the French Laundry restaurant."