Suspect in Howard Frankland Bridge stabbing worked as federal prosecutor

A former Federal prosecutor is accused of stabbing a man on the Howard Frankland Bridge in a fit of rage after a three-car pileup on Tuesday.

Witness Tara Iglinski took photos of the aftermath, which show Patrick Scruggs standing outside the car with an arm raised, and blood covering the victim's arms and hands.

"I was trying to figure out what had caused that," she said.

Troopers say Scruggs had bashed through the window and stabbed the man multiple times. According to troopers, just before, the man had been passed out while behind the wheel, and his car stopped in the middle of traffic on the Howard Frankland Bridge.

Two Good Samaritans had also stopped and evidently startled him awake. Authorities say the eventual victim drove forward, hit the Good Samaritan's car, then drove into Scruggs' path. 

That's when, according to officials, Scruggs stopped and took out his pocket knife.

"It's just so sad that someone would react in that way," said Iglinski. "There's so much road rage nowadays."

Witnesses might not have expected it from Scruggs, had they known he was a Federal prosecutor for ten years. 

He just left that job for private practice, but while he served the US attorney's office in Tampa, he helped on high-profile cases, including that of Adam Johnson, who stole the lectern from Nancy Pelosi's office during the capitol insurrection.

Scruggs most recently worked for a law firm named Barnes & Thornburg; a representative with the firm told FOX 13 he is no longer employed there. 

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"His actions speak to his actions and his actions only," Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Gaskins said. "We don't ever want to see someone get out and, you know, commit some kind of violence like this, whether it be at a home, a restaurant, or on the highway."

Troopers also say Scruggs used the knife to scare the Good Samaritans off when they tried to help the stabbing victim. 

Traffic was stopped for three hours, after which the former federal prosecutor was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

"It doesn't matter who he is," said Iglinski. "What he did was really, really scary. And the way he reacted there was really frightening."

Scruggs bonded out of jail after about ten hours in custody.

Photo courtesy: Florida Highway Patrol

It is unclear at this moment what caused the victim to stop his car in the middle of the highway, or why he was passed out.

The victim was taken to the hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.