After his vehicle was hit on a busy Florida bridge, the man driving it stabbed the other driver, law enforcement officials told news outlets.
A 35-year-old man from Tampa was driving across the Howard Frankland Bridge around 9:30 a.m. Sept. 26, the Florida Highway Patrol told Bay News 9.
The man stopped in his lane, slumped over in the driver’s seat, cops told the outlet.
A couple also traveling from Tampa passed by the man and saw he was in trouble, troopers told WVTV.
They pulled their car over in front of the stopped man and checked on him, but were unable to get into the car, troopers told the outlet.
Wanting to help, they walked back toward their car to grab an item that could be used to break a window, Florida Highway Patrol told WVTV.
When the couple left, the man woke up inside his vehicle and hit the gas, crashing into the back of the couple’s car, troopers told WTSP.
The 35-year-old quickly put his car in reverse and tried to drive around the couple and leave the scene, Florida Highway Patrol told the outlet.
As he did so, he crashed into a car driven by a 38-year-old man passing the stopped vehicles, troopers told Bay News 9.
The man, identified by the Florida Highway Patrol as Patrick Douglas Scruggs, got out of his car and smashed the window of the first driver’s car, troopers told the outlet.
Scruggs is a former assistant U.S. attorney who spent a decade in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tampa, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Then Scruggs approached the first driver and began to stab him repeatedly with a pocket knife, troopers told WVTV.
The couple approached Scruggs before he “turned his attention toward them” and attempted to stab them, troopers told WTSP.
An officer with the St. Petersburg Police Department happened upon the crash and saw the commotion, troopers told Bay News 9.
The officer arrested Scruggs and provided assistance to the stabbed man, officials told WVTV.
The man’s injuries were described as serious but not life-threatening by the Florida Highway Patrol, according to WTSP.
In a Facebook post that is no longer public shared by the Tampa Bay Times, a woman driving behind the crash captured a picture of a man holding up a knife as the other driver’s bloodied hands stuck out the car window.
“I saw him holding the knife and I saw the arms of the guy sticking out the window like he was pleading for help,” she said in the post shared by the Times.
Scruggs was charged with aggravated battery, aggravated assault and armed burglary, and was released from the Pinellas County Jail on a $65,000 bond on Sept. 26, the Times reported.
A defense attorney for Scruggs has not yet been listed, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Scruggs’ profile and contact information have been removed from the website of the firm where he was most recently employed.
Scruggs was hired by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tampa in 2013, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.
Scruggs received his Juris Doctor degree from Boston College Law School and formerly worked in the Prescription Drug Investigation Unit of the New York County District Attorney’s Office in New York City, according to the release.
He worked with the Tampa office until April 2023 when he left to join a law firm in Atlanta, according to his LinkedIn page.