‘He’s lucky he’s not dead’: Shots fired at SWAT team before mayor’s arrest

Pasco County

Port Richey Mayor Dale Massad is facing charges of attempted homicide after he allegedly opened fire on a SWAT team trying to serve a search warrant at his home, authorities said. 

At about 4:40 a.m. Thursday morning, SWAT team members announced their presence at Massad’s home in the 8200 block of Hayward Lane. 

Shots were fired at the SWAT team but deputies did not return fire.

“The suspect has been arrested,” said Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco. “He shot at our members. He’s lucky he’s not dead.”

Massad, 68, was arrested on charges of practicing medicine without a license. 

The arrest comes after a four-month investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

FDLE agents received information from the Port Richey Police Department that Massad, whose medical license was relinquished in 1992 in place of revocation, was still practicing medicine.

Agents launched an investigation and learned Massad had patients come to his home for various treatments. Detectives say he performed medical procedures at his residence, with one procedure requiring additional hospital treatment for the patient.

“With a search warrant, we profile people’s lives, we look at their pattern of life,” Nocco added. “The suspect is a known drug user. The suspect has multiple weapons in the house, which was prevalent in what happened. The suspect has made statements that he doesn’t want to go back to jail. The suspect has a previous history of violence.”

“That’s who we were dealing with today.”

This is not Massad’s first run-in with law enforcement. Massad and his girlfriend were arrested on domestic battery charges last August.

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