A lawyer who worked for the US Attorney’s Office prosecuting citizens who attended the infamous Jan. 6 protest is embroiled in his own legal entanglement after he was arrested for allegedly stabbing a fellow motorist during a road rage incident.
Patrick Douglas Scruggs, 38, made headlines Tuesday when he was taken into custody on the busy Howard Frankland Bridge in Tampa, Florida.
The Tampa Bay Times described a three-car crash and the incredible series of events that culminated in Scruggs’ arrest:
According to a news release issued Tuesday by the Florida Highway Patrol, a 40-year-old Tampa man was driving a sedan south on Interstate 275 when he and his 43-year-old wife noticed a vehicle that was stopped in the travel lanes of the bridge shortly before 9:24 a.m. The 35-year-old driver, also of Tampa, was slumped over inside his sedan, troopers said, so the couple pulled over in front of the car to help.
The 40-year-old man was unable to get inside the other sedan, so he walked back to his car to get something that could break the window. While he was doing that, the 35-year-old man woke up and accelerated forward, crashing into the couple’s sedan. He shifted into reverse and then tried to get around the couple’s sedan, according to troopers, but at that point, he struck Scruggs’ sedan as he was driving by the scene.
Scruggs pulled over, got out and walked up to the driver of the vehicle that hit his car. According to the Highway Patrol, Scruggs broke a window and started stabbing the 35-year-old man with a pocketknife.
The couple returned to the vehicle to help the man being stabbed, but Scruggs then tried to stab them and they fled, troopers said.
A St. Petersburg Police Department officer driving past saw the commotion and pulled over to help, the Highway Patrol said. The officer detained Scruggs and called for assistance.
Photos uploaded to Facebook by a passing motorist showed Scruggs outside of his vehicle clutching a knife, as the driver of another vehicle can be seen holding their bloodied hands out of their window.
According to the Facebook user, Scruggs was “holding the knife and I saw the arms of the guy sticking out the window like he was pleading for help- and his arms were all cut up.”
Scruggs was arrested and charged with aggravated battery, aggravated assault and armed burglary.
Scruggs’ LinkedIn page shows he previously worked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tampa up until May 2023 when he joined the Atlanta-based Barnes and Thornburg law firm.
Recently, “Scruggs also appeared on behalf of the federal government during hearings for Florida residents accused of taking part in the riots at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump on Jan. 6, 2021,” the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Scruggs’ previous job as a US prosecutor was also corroborated by Jan. 6 defendant Adam Johnson, better known as the “Lectern Guy” who paraded around the Capitol with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern during the Jan. 6 protest.
During Johnson’s trial, Scruggs reportedly told the judge, “This is a serious case… Everyone involved in the storming of the Capitol last week needs to be held accountable for their actions, including Mr. Johnson.”
Johnson was subsequently sentenced to 75 days in prison by a DC district court judge.
On Wednesday, Johnson spoke up about the prosecutor’s arrest, writing on X, “Meet the guy who prosecuted me in Tampa for walking in a building on January 6th.”
“My crimes were so egregious that he demanded I wear an ankle monitor, be drugged tested at random, surrender my passports, be restricted to middle district of Florida, and given a nightly curfew.”
“What restrictions do you think he should get for stabbing a man repeatedly in public?” Johnson questioned.
Scruggs reportedly posted $65,000 bail and was released from the Pinellas County Jail late Tuesday evening.
In a statement to the Tampa Bay Times, Scruggs’ lawyer wrote his client should be afforded the presumption of innocence.
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