PORT RICHEY, Fla. — Port Richey, Florida, Mayor Dale Massad is charged with attempted murder after shooting at a Pasco County SWAT team Thursday morning.
“I used to be up in the DC area. 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," said Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco. “He shot at our members. He’s lucky he’s not dead.”
Now, Massad has been charged with attempted murder.
“Nobody is above the law. It doesn’t matter what your position is. Everybody is going to be held accountable," said Nocco.
The Florida Department Law Enforcement says the Port Richey Mayor was treating people at his home even though he lost his medical license in 1992.
In December 2017, Massad removed a fish hook from a "patient" who returned to him in April of 2018 to get a shot of cortizone, according to the arrest affidavit. On August 24, 2018, another "patient" came to Massad for a "surgical procedure" to close a laceration on his left ankle. During that procedure, Massad administered a local anesthetic and gave the "patient" stitches.
One recent treatment sent a patient to the hospital.
FDLE along with Pasco deputies came to Massad's home early Thursday morning with a search warrant.
Cindy Stark lives nearby the mayor’s home.
“I am totally disgusted. It just blows my mind that we could elect a leader that would not only be breaking crime. But shooting at the police," said Stark.
Last year, police were called to his home dozens of times.
Then in August he and a girlfriend were both arrested on domestic violence charges.
Massad later told us that was one of the worst experiences of his life.
“The main thing I learned from the jail is I don’t want to go back," he said.
The Pasco Sheriff’s Office says Massad was a known drug user and had guns in the house.
He admitted to us he’d even fired a gun inside.
“I shot one of my smoke detectors because I couldn’t get up there to get it. It wouldn’t go off and it was 3 a.m.," Massad said.
Deputies say three other people were inside the home, but so far there are no other arrests.
Port Richey leaders have not responded for comment.
Massad was taken to the Pasco County Jail and Attorney General Ashley Moody's Office will handle the case, according to FDLE.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the shooting.