The suspect has been arrested in a weird Florida bridge rage incident that blocked site visitors on the street linking Tampa and St. Petersburg. It was scheduled for Thursday Ok Former federal prosecutor.
Patrick Douglas Scruggs, who celebrated his thirty ninth birthday on Thursday, was arrested and charged with armed theft, aggravated assault and aggravated battery with a lethal weapon. The alleged one Collapse It happened On the Howard Frankland Bridge on Tuesday morningA Florida Freeway Patrol consultant mentioned.
A spokesman for the U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace mentioned Scruggs was an assistant U.S. legal professional within the Legal Division in Tampa from Sept. 9, 2012, to April 21 earlier this yr.
Scruggs now not works for the Division of Justice and a USAO consultant declined to launch any extra particulars concerning the former federal prosecutor.
The incident started when a 35-year-old Tampa man recognized as “Driver 1” was discovered slumped in his automotive within the southbound lane of the Howard Frankland Bridge shortly earlier than 9:30 a.m. ET Tuesday, police mentioned. Florida Freeway Patrol.
second automotive, Led by Ahmed Qahf, a 40-year-old Tampa resident, Cease in entrance of Driver 1 to see if he’s okay. That is when Driver 1 wakened and “moved ahead, hanging Driver 2’s automobile,” FHP mentioned.
“Driver 1 reversed and tried to go round Driver 2’s (Qahf) automobile” after which “collided with Driver 3’s passing automobile,” in line with the FHP.
Driver 3 was Scruggs, who “then stopped, received out of his automobile, approached Driver 1, broke a facet window and started stabbing Driver 1 a number of occasions with a pocket knife,” FHP mentioned.
At Qahf He and his spouse tried to intervene, and Scruggs allegedly “turned his consideration” to them and tried to stab the couple, officers mentioned.
The couple “escaped earlier than they had been harmed” and a passing St. Petersburg police officer confronted the commotion and arrested Scruggs, FHP added.
“It amazed me why he did that,” Al-Qahaf mentioned. He mentioned: “Are you with him?” “You two, you wish to kill me?” That is when he got here at me with the knife.
Authorities mentioned the accident closed elements of the bridge for about three hours.
Qahaf mentioned he stopped for 2 causes – to see if he might assist Driver 1 and to warn oncoming automobiles to not get across the inclined automotive.
“I wished to assist the person and assist others as properly. It might have been a significant accident,” Qahaf instructed NBC Information on Thursday. “It is 4 lanes and everybody’s going 80mph, there might have been a significant accident.”
Regardless of the double hazard that Qahf confronted, within the preliminary cease and the alleged try to stab him, the restaurant proprietor mentioned that he wouldn’t hesitate to cease in the midst of the street once more.
“I’d do it each time, little doubt,” he mentioned. “We have now to assist folks once we see one thing, particularly in the midst of the freeway. Somebody caught in the midst of the street, they want our assist, definitely.”
Scruggs was taken into custody and launched on $65,000 bail, Pinellas County Jail data present.
“He has no prior felony historical past. It is a utterly remoted incident,” mentioned John Nohlgren, the suspect’s protection legal professional.
“He has quite a lot of regulation enforcement and prosecutors reaching out to him and saying, ‘This isn’t the Patrick Scruggs we all know, one thing should have occurred,’” that is been the response to this point. Portraying it as somebody leaping (out of) a automotive) and beginning to stab somebody is both not what occurred nevertheless it’s additionally not (who) my shopper is, not his character.
An FHP consultant mentioned it was nonetheless unclear Thursday why Driver 1 was initially unresponsive, resulting in Tuesday’s weird sequence of occasions.
Qahaf mentioned the person’s fingers seemed to be trembling when he regained consciousness.