PORT RICHEY, Fla. – Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 19-48, formally suspending Port Richey Mayor Dale Glen Massad, effective immediately.
Massad was arrested for felony charges of practicing medicine without a license and two counts of attempted murder/homicide-premeditated, reported Space Coast Daily.
“Dale Glen Massad is clearly unfit to continue serving as Mayor for the City of Port Richey,” said Governor DeSantis.
“It is in the best interest of the residents of the City of Port Richey and citizens of the state of Florida that Dale Glen Massad be immediately suspended from public office.”
Massad, 68, was taken into custody last week after firing a gun at a Pasco County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team, according to Sheriff Chris Nocco.
Nocco said the shooting occurred when his office was tasked with serving a search warrant issued by the Attorney General’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on charges of practicing medicine without a license, reported New Port Richey Patch.
He said he enlisted additional SWAT Team members to serve the warrant because he was aware that Massad owned several guns and he had reportedly declared he was not going back to jail.
Massad made that statement in August 2018 after he was released from jail on domestic violence charges against his then-live-in girlfriend.
In an interview with WFTS TV, Massad said, “The main thing I learned from the jail is I don’t want to go back.”
Nocco said the SWAT Team assembled at Massad’s home at 8221 Hayward Lane at 4:40 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 21. Sheriff’s Sgt. William Lindsey knocked on the door and announced it was the sheriff’s office five times with no results.
Deputy Nick Carmack then used a ram on the door three or four times but was unable to breach the door. So Cpl. G. McKnight fired a shotgun at the front door lock, opened the door and inserted a flashbang-distraction device inside the home.
That’s when deputies heard a firearm discharge twice inside the home and took cover behind the SWAT Team’s command vehicle. No one was injured and the SWAT Team did not return fire.
The SWAT Team shined a light from the command vehicle into the home and saw Massad with a gun in his left hand and a cell phone in the other walking around a room on the second floor.
The sheriff said the team was about to use tear gas to force the occupants of the home to come out when Massad surrendered.
According to the arrest affidavit, the FDLE received a tip that Massad, a retired medical doctor, was diagnosing and treating injuries and illnesses without a license. Massad relinquished his medical license in 1992, according to the Board of Medicine.
According to the arrest affidavit, an informant went to Massad, pretending to have an injury to his left knee. Massad reportedly prescribed a medication to inject into the tendon.
Another informant said Massad removed a fish spine from his lower left back and gave him a Cortisone injection.
The FDLE also had testimony from a person who said Massad performed a surgical procedure on his ankle during which he administered a local anesthetic and sutured the laceration.
Nocco doesn’t think Massad was motivated to give medical assistance from a sense of compassion for others. He called him a drug dealer and user and said, “He was probably on drugs when we entered the house.”
After he was arrested, Massad claimed he fired his gun because he thought his life was being threatened. He said he didn’t realize it was the sheriff’s office outside his home.
Nocco, however, said the SWAT team announced itself so loudly that six neighbors came out of their homes to see what was happening. Another resident of the house, Thomas Crawford, whose bedroom is next to Massad’s, said he clearly heard the SWAT Team announcing itself.
“We know he (Massad) heard us,” said Nocco.