Judge Christina J. Peterson is facing a felony charge after being arrested at a north Atlanta nightclub. According to a report obtained by Fox 5, the Douglas County judge allegedly hit an officer on the head early Thursday morning at Red Martini Restaurant and Lounge.

Peterson, 38, “appeared to be under the influence” and refused to identify herself, which led to her being jailed. She is charged with willful obstruction of law enforcement officers by use of threats or violence and simple battery against a police officer and was released Thursday afternoon on a $5,000 bond, according to Fulton County Jail records.

In several Instagram posts, Peterson has called her arrest a “setup” and insisted she was “trying to help a woman who was being attacked by men” when she accidentally hit the officer. Peterson alleges she has “bruises, [a] black eye, [and a] swollen knee” from the incident. Two witnesses have come forward in Peterson’s defense.

Douglas County judge arrested for an alleged assault of a police officer.

Douglas County judge arrested for an alleged assault of a police officer.
Screenshot: Fulton County Sheriff’s Office

“Wow. They will stop at nothing to tarnish my character.” Peterson wrote on Instagram.

In her role as probate judge, Peterson presides over cases involving vital records including wedding certificates and wills, which typically do not attract media attention. Since her election to office, however, Peterson has made her way to headlines multiple times.

She became the first Black person to be elected as Douglas Country’s probate judge back in 2020. Since then, Peterson has been accused of ethical misconduct totaling 50 charges against her, 20 of which have been dismissed. These accusations include abusive conduct towards county personnel and obstructing access to public records. Peterson is also one of the highest paid judges in Georgia, which raised the eyebrows of panel members investigating her.

I -Team: Judge Christina Peterson’s ‘systemic incompetence’

The Judicial Qualifications Commission investigating the judge unanimously recommended her removal from office, stating she shows “‘systemic judicial incompetence’ and a disregard for the law.” During the 2023 hearing, an emotional Peterson took the stand, saying “I was never celebrated or congratulated” for making history as the first Black probate judge in Douglas County.

Since these accusations, Peterson’s approval rate has declined, which led to her ultimately losing the Democratic vote in a recent Georgia primary.

Just weeks before the alleged nightclub assault, incumbent Peterson lost to Douglasville, Georgia attorney Valerie Vie in the May 21 primary election. As the new Democratic nominee, Vie is set to be the only name on the November ballot.

The Georgia Supreme Court has yet to decide if Peterson should remain in office through her term ending this year.