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Police: Mayor Fired at SWAT Team Serving Warrant

Newser — Evann Gastaldo

As SWAT officers attempted to serve a search warrant at a Port Richey, Fla., home early Thursday, someone shot at them—and that someone has been identified by authorities as Port Richey's mayor.

Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco says Dale Massad, 68, was under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for practicing medicine without a license when the SWAT team arrived around 4:40am to serve the warrant, the Miami Herald reports.

Massad allegedly fired two rounds and refused to come out even as three others in the house did, but as deputies prepared to use gas, he surrendered.

Deputies did not return fire, and no one was injured, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Massad was arrested, and now in addition to the medicine charge he will be charged with attempted homicide, Nocco says.



Massad, who surrendered his medical license in 1992 after the Board of Medicine accused him of making errors that led to a 3-year-old's death, has had other run-ins with the sheriff's office, including an August incident in which he and his girlfriend were arrested for domestic battery, WFLA reports; those charges were ultimately dropped.

"With a search warrant, we profile people’s lives, we look at their pattern of life," Nocco says. "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." The FDLE was investigating Massad because there were reports of him performing medical procedures on patients at his home.

A city council member would not comment on the arrest but said she assumes the vice mayor will step in to the mayor role.

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