Criminal Justice

Ex-federal prosecutor charged in alleged road-rage stabbing no longer works at this BigLaw firm

  • Print

shutterstock_Barnes and Thornburg_600px

Lawyer Patrick Douglas Scruggs, 38, is accused of attacking a driver after he struck Scruggs’ sedan on Interstate 275 in Tampa, Florida. Photo from Shutterstock.

A former federal prosecutor accused of stabbing a driver in a road-rage incident Tuesday is no longer working at Barnes & Thornburg, the law firm that he joined in the spring.

Lawyer Patrick Douglas Scruggs, 38, is accused of attacking the driver after he struck Scruggs’ sedan on Interstate 275 in Tampa, Florida, report the Tampa Bay Times, WTSP, Fox 13 and

Scruggs allegedly broke the driver’s window and began stabbing the man with a pocketknife. He was charged with aggravated battery, aggravated assault and armed burglary.

Scruggs had worked for the U.S. attorney’s office in Tampa, Florida, for more than 10 years and had helped prosecute suspects in the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot. His LinkedIn page says he left the U.S. attorney’s office in April and joined Barnes & Thornburg in May.

Scruggs was working as of counsel at Barnes & Thornburg’s Atlanta office, according to a June 6 press release announcing the hiring of several lawyers and legal professionals.

The press release said Scruggs “advises his clients on the intricacies of the investigation and prosecution process. He has conducted numerous long-term investigations and first-chaired various trials at the federal level.”

A spokesperson for Barnes & Thornburg told Fox 13 that Scruggs no longer works there. His firm bio page is no longer live.

Scruggs graduated from the Boston College Law School in 2009 and Georgetown University in 2005, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in foreign service. Before becoming a federal prosecutor, Scruggs worked at the New York County district attorney’s office, according to a 2013 press release announcing new hires at the U.S. attorney’s office.

The road-rage incident happened after a good Samaritan couple saw the driver slumped over in his car stopped on a bridge and pulled in front of the car to help, according to a Florida Highway Patrol news release cited by the articles. After seeing that the doors were locked, the husband walked back to his car to get something to break the window.

The driver woke up and accelerated, crashing into the couple’s car, according to the news release. The driver then tried to get around the couple’s car and struck Scruggs’ car as he drove by.

After Scruggs stopped and allegedly stabbed the driver, he also used his knife to scare off the good Samaritan couple, police told Fox 13.

A police officer driving by stopped and detained Scruggs. Pictures taken by a witness who saw the aftermath shows Scruggs standing at the scene with his arms in the air and the driver’s bloody arm and hands.

Scruggs was released on $65,000 bond. His lawyer released a statement to the Tampa Bay Times.

The statement by lawyer John Nohlgren said Scruggs “has no prior criminal history and has spent nearly his entire career protecting the people of this country.”

The incident was “a chaotic situation involving multiple crashes caused by only one person on one of our area’s busiest bridges,” according to the statement.

“That person was not Mr. Scruggs,” the statement said. “There is much more to this incident than what is being reported, and we are diligently working to bring to light the full facts of what occurred. We urge that the public keep an open mind and withhold from making judgments. We will bring forth all of the facts and make them known to the authorities in the proper forum.”

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.