PORT RICHEY, Fla. (WFLA) – Port Richey Mayor Dale Massad is expected in court Friday to face a number of charges including practicing medicine without a license and attempted murder for shooting at deputies.
Cindy Stark took cover in her home as the SWAT team entered Massad’s house Thursday morning on Hayward Lane. She lives one block away.
“I did hear I thought it was a gun shot. I seen [sic] the commotion. Was wondering what was going on,” Stark said.
The mayor was seen with a gun. Sheriff Chris Nocco said he fired shots from inside of his home.
“The suspect has been arrested. He shot at our members. He’s lucky he’s not dead,” he said.
The deputies were serving a warrant following an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Authorities said he was practicing medicine without a license out of his home.
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 conducted a four-month investigation and learned Massad had patients come to his home for various treatments.
He had performed medical procedures at his residence, one of which required additional hospital treatment for the patient.
In light of his arrest, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced Thursday that he has directed his fraud detectives to investigate any alleged insurance fraud relating to Massad.
Sheriff Nocco described Massad as a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
“This suspect is a known drug user. This suspect had multiple weapons in their house, which is prevalent with what happened. This suspect made statements, he does not want to go back to jail. This suspect has a previous history of violence. That’s who we were dealing with today,” said Nocco. “I used to be up in DC area. They had Marion Barry up there. I mean this is Port Richey’s version. I mean an individual that you wouldn’t believe would be in office and this is what happens.”
No one at city hall could comment.
Stark can’t believe it.
“We just need to be more diligent, background checks and who we’re voting into office,” she said.
After discussion with the arresting Special Agent, the arrestee’s flight risk has warranted the use of “high bond.”
Massad’s original bonds from his FDLE charges are now $60,000.
He has no bond for his charges with the sheriff’s office.