Former federal prosecutor charged with stabbing after road rage incident

Posted at 3:33 PM, October 2, 2023

PINELLAS COUNTY (Court TV/Scripps News Tampa) — A man who once put criminals behind bars is now facing charges himself after allegedly attacking a fellow driver after a road rage incident.

booking photo of Patrick Scruggs

Former assistant U.S. attorney Patrick Scruggs is facing charges after an alleged road rage incident. (Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office)

Florida Highway Patrol told Scripps News Tampa that the three-vehicle crash on Tuesday began with a man slumped over in his vehicle in the travel lane, and ended with that same man being stabbed multiple times.

Police said it’s unclear why the first driver, a 35-year-old from Tampa, was slumped inside of his vehicle. A couple in a second car saw the first driver and stopped. FHP said they pulled ahead of the stopped car, and the man got out to help the first driver.

The second driver was unable to get access to the first driver, so FHP said he went back to his vehicle to get something to break the window. While he was getting that item, FHP said the first driver woke up, drove forward and crashed into the couple’s vehicle.

The first driver then reversed and tried to drive around the couple’s vehicle, FHP said, but he crashed into a third vehicle that was passing.

The third driver, identified as Patrick Scruggs, stopped and got out of his vehicle. FHP said Scruggs went up to the first driver, broke the vehicle’s window and stabbed the man multiple times with a pocket knife.

still from video shows a crash on the side of a highway

In this still from highway camera video, the stopped cars are visible after a crash that led to a stabbing in Pinellas County. (FHP via Scripps News Tampa)

Scruggs is a former assistant U.S. attorney.

The second driver and his wife tried to stop Scruggs from attacking the first driver, FHP said. As the couple approached the first driver’s vehicle, troopers said Scruggs “diverted his attention” to the couple and tried to stab them. They ran away and were not injured.

A passing St. Pete Police officer stopped and detained Scruggs and helped the first driver, who had been stabbed.

The first driver, the 35-year-old Tampa man, is in the hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries, FHP said.

Scruggs was arrested by FHP and was charged with Aggravated Battery, Aggravated Assault and Burglary of an Occupied Convenience.

Scruggs posted bond and was released from the Pinellas County Jail just before midnight.


This story was originally published by Scripps News Tampa, an E.W. Scripps Company.

More In: