Former federal prosecutor Patrick Douglas Scruggs, who previously handled cases related to the Jan. 6, 2021, disturbances at the U.S. Capitol, is now facing three felony charges in Florida. Scruggs, 38, is accused of engaging in a violent road rage assault in Tampa. Prosecutors allege that he broke the window of a driver who collided with him on Interstate 275 and proceeded to stab the victim multiple times with a pocket knife. He is also accused of attempting to stab a couple who came to the aid of the driver he attacked. The victim of the assault was hospitalized in serious condition.
Scruggs, who formerly worked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tampa, is now facing charges of aggravated battery, aggravated assault, and armed burglary in connection to the altercation. If convicted, he could potentially face a sentence of over a decade, as Florida law allows for a 15-year sentence on an aggravated battery charge.
During his time as a federal prosecutor, Scruggs argued on behalf of the government in several cases related to the Jan. 6, 2021, incursion at the U.S. Capitol. He also appeared in the bond hearing of a Florida man convicted of trespassing charges after being photographed carrying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern.
Scruggs’ defense attorney, John Nohlgren, maintains his client’s innocence and emphasizes that Scruggs has no prior criminal history. Nohlgren stated that every person is presumed innocent until proven guilty and urged the public to withhold judgment until all the facts of the incident are brought to light.
In addition to his work on Jan. 6 cases, Scruggs also prosecuted a case in 2023 involving Muhammed Al-Azhari, a man convicted of aiding ISIS and the Islamic State of Iraq.
The Tampa Bay Times reported on a witness’s Facebook post that described seeing a knife at the scene of the incident. Photographs from the altercation were also shared online.