US Attorney Accused In Bizarre Road Rage Stabbing

A former U.S. Attorney, known for his involvement in the prosecution of Adam Johnson from the January 6 Capitol breach, found himself in a troubling legal situation this week. Patrick Douglas Scruggs, aged 38, who served at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tampa until 2023, faced arrest on Tuesday in Tampa, Florida, following a bizarre road rage incident.

Scruggs, who had recently transitioned to working at the Atlanta-based private law firm Barnes and Thornburg as an “of counsel” attorney, lost control of his temper following a shocking turn of events on a Florida highway.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol’s press release issued on the same day, a 40-year-old Tampa man and his wife came across a sedan stopped in the travel lanes of the Howard Frankland Bridge. The sedan’s 35-year-old driver was found slumped over inside.

In an act of goodwill, the couple pulled over to help but couldn’t access the unconscious man’s vehicle. Their attempt led them to search for an object that could break the window. As they did so, the driver of the stalled sedan abruptly awakened and collided with the couple’s vehicle.

He then attempted to maneuver around the couple’s car but ended up striking Scruggs’ sedan in the process. Scruggs, after pulling over, took matters into his own hands. He exited his vehicle and proceeded to confront the driver of the sedan that had hit his car. Allegedly, he broke a window and used a pocket knife to stab the 35-year-old driver.

The couple rushed to assist the injured victim, but Scruggs turned on them with the knife, causing them to flee the scene, according to troopers. A bystander, Tara Jex Iglinski, captured the disturbing incident as it unfolded and shared photos on Facebook, which is now set to private.

Her images depicted a knife-wielding individual standing beside a car with the driver extending bloodied arms. The situation took a positive turn when a St. Petersburg Police Department officer passing by intervened, detaining Scruggs and calling for backup. The 35-year-old victim sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to a local hospital.

Scruggs was subsequently arrested on charges of aggravated battery, aggravated assault, and armed burglary. He was released from the Pinellas County Jail on the same evening after posting $65,000 bail. Scruggs’ attorney, John Nohlgren, emphasized the presumption of innocence and stated that there was more to the incident than initial reports indicated.

Nohlgren insisted on a fair consideration of the facts in the proper forum. Scruggs, a Boston College Law School graduate, had a distinguished legal career, including prosecuting cases related to a murder-for-hire scheme and participating in hearings for individuals accused of participating in the January 6, 2021, Capitol riots.

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