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Florida Mayor 'Lucky He's Not Dead' After Allegedly Opening Fire At SWAT Team Trying To Serve Arrest Warrant
“Nobody is above the law. It doesn’t matter what your position is. Everybody is going to be held accountable," Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said regarding the arrest of Port Richey Mayor Dale Massad.
The mayor of a Florida town opened fire on a SWAT team as they attempted to execute an arrest warrant against him, according to authorities.
“I used to be up in the DC area,” Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said at a press conference about Port Richey Mayor Dale Massad's arrest Thursday. “They had Marion Barry up there. This is Port Richey’s version. An individual that you wouldn’t believe should be in office and this is what happened. He shot at our members. He’s lucky he’s not dead.”
The warrant stemmed from accusations that Massad had illegally given people medical treatment at his home, even conducting minor surgery on one person, despite losing his medical license in 1992, according to a complaint obtained by Oxygen.com.
During a months-long investigation, one investigator faked a knee injury and was allegedly diagnosed and offered treatment in Massad’s home. In another case, the mayor allegedly "removed a fish spine from the victim's lower left back area, thus performing a medical procedure,” according to the complaint. That particular victim claimed that they were treated by Massad several times between late 2017 and spring 2018. Another victim said the mayor performed a surgical procedure on their ankle.
At 5 a.m. Thursday, SWAT team members descended on Massad’s property. As they were knocking down his front door, two gunshots could be heard from within the home, according to the complaint. Afterward, Massad allegedly approached them wearing green shorts, holding a gun.
Later, Massad allegedly told investigators he woke up to the commotion and grabbed his .40 caliber gun which he kept on his headboard, thinking that it was the Port Richey Police Department at his door. "The defendant said he exited his bedroom and shot two times into the hallway in the direction of the front door,” the sheriff’s department wrote.
Massad is no stranger to law enforcement. Last summer, he said he shot at a smoke detectors because it was driving him crazy in the middle of the night, according to WFTS in Tampa Bay. Also last summer, both he and his girlfriend were arrested on suspicion of domestic violence.
Now, Massad is being charged with attempted murder. It's not clear if he has a lawyer who can speak on his behalf at this time.
“Nobody is above the law. It doesn’t matter what your position is. Everybody is going to be held accountable," Nocco said.