Former federal prosecutor arrested for allegedly stabbing a driver after a crash in Florida

TAMPA, Fla. — A former federal prosecutor was arrested in Florida for allegedly stabbing a driver on a Florida highway after a crash last week.


Eyewitness Ahmed Gahaf of Tampa told CNN that the incident occurred after he stopped to help an incapacitated driver on I-275 following a crash on Sept. 26.

When the driver woke up, he hit the gas and crashed into Gahaf’s car and a second car, according to Florida Highway Patrol. That’s when former prosecutor Patrick Scruggs, 39, who was in the second car, got out of his car and went up to the one that hit him.

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Gahaf told CNN that Gahaf shattered the driver’s side window and attacked the driver with a folding knife. FHP said the attack left “multiple stabs and cuts in the arm.”

Video taken by a witness showed Gahaf on the phone with 911 and trying to stop Scruggs. The video appears to show Scruggs making a swipe at Gahaf with his knife, which nearly hit him in the chest.

“I’m thinking he’s coming to help, you know, he’s coming to help, but he comes in like he already has plans,” Gahaf told CNN Sunday. “I came in close to him to try to tell him stop… and he came in close to me, like one foot away from me, from my chest with the knife. And he said, ‘You too? You want to kill me?’ I backed from him and was still with 911 and he kept going to stab him (the driver).”

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Scruggs is now facing felony charges of armed burglary, aggravated assault and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, according to an arrest affidavit.

John Nohlgren, Scruggs’ attorney, noted his client’s career as a federal prosecutor in an email to CNN. He urges the public to “keep an open mind” saying his client has no prior criminal history.

“This was a chaotic situation involving multiple crashes caused by only one person on one of our area’s busiest bridges. That person was not Mr. Scruggs. 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,” wrote Nohlgren.

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Gahaf told CNN he was shocked to learn the knife-wielding man was a former federal prosecutor.

“I cannot believe it, you know, that’s what drive(s) me crazy. He knows the law,” he said.

Jail records show Scruggs was released 10 hours after he was first booked at the Pinellas County Jail on a $65,000 bond.

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Scruggs worked for the Middle District of Florida’s U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tampa for 10 years as senior litigation counsel, according to his LinkedIn profile. This year, he joined a private law firm in Atlanta.

Scruggs was involved in the early prosecution of Jan. 6 defendant Adam Johnson, known as “lectern guy,” after making off with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s lectern.

Barnes & Thornburg, the private law firm Scruggs started working for this year in Atlanta, told CNN in an email that Scruggs is no longer at its law firm.

CLICK HERE to read the original story by CNN.

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