Florida Mayor Arrested After Shots Fired During Raid on His Home
By Justin Trombly
Shots rang out Thursday morning but no one was injured as state agents arrested the mayor of Port Richey at his home on a charge of practicing medicine without a license.
Following a four-month investigation, agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested Dale Glen Massad, 68, at about 4:30 a.m. at 8221 Hayward Lane in Port Richey, according to a news release from FDLE.
In a separate release, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said the sheriff's SWAT team was helping FDLE serve a search warrant at the same address when shots were fired at a sheriff's entry team. Authorities did not return fire, the Sheriff's Office said.
No one was injured, the Sheriff's Office said, and their target was taken into custody without further incident.
The Sheriff's Office did not name the individual, but FDLE identified him as Massad.
Agents from FDLE had received information from the Port Richey Police Department that Massad, who lost his medical license in 1992, was still practicing medicine.
Agents launched an investigation and learned Massad had patients come to his home for a variety of treatments. He had performed medical procedures at his residence including one that required additional hospital treatment for a patient, FDLE said.
Authorities Thursday morning blocked public access to the area around Massad's two-story, 3,200-square-foot waterfront home at the end of Hayward Lane.
Linda and Brian Van Es, both 57, woke up to the sound of gunshots outside their home on Bluepoint Drive, across a canal from Massad's.
"Four quick, 'Pow, pow, pow, pow,'" Linda Van Es said.
The couple didn't know what was going on, so they hunkered away from their windows. But then, Linda Van Es said, she heard deputies on a loudspeaker commanding someone to drop a gun and come out of a house.
"It's unfortunate, but it's not surprising," she said, "because of his history."
The mayor served as a Port Richey city councilman three times, from 2000-08, and he has had run-ins with the law before.
In August, he and his live-in girlfriend, Caj Annette Joseph were arrested on charges they battered one another during an argument at their home, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said.
In July 2017, police arrested Joseph at Massad's home, accusing her of punching him and hitting him with a vehicle door.
Also in 2017, Massad was cited by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, accused of harvesting snook out of season.
Police arrested Joseph on a charge of misdemeanor battery in May 2016 after she and another woman, Jodie Cunningham, were accused of getting into an altercation at Massad's home.
In 2009, Massad reported to police that a friend had stolen a gun from his pickup in his garage. The friend later used the gun to commit suicide, news reports said.
Port Richey Councilwoman Jennie Sorrell declined to comment on Thursday's arrest, but she said the city's attorney was reviewing its options. She assumes the vice mayor, Terrence Rowe, will step in for Massad, she said.
Staff writers CT Bowen and Douglas Clifford contributed to this report. This is a developing story. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.
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