Arrested Mayor: I Wasn't Shooting at SWAT Team

Dale Massad says noisy smoke detector was his target
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2019 12:15 PM CST

(Newser) – No one was hurt Thursday as SWAT team members arrested a Florida mayor accused of practicing medicine without a license, but it's a wonder. "He's lucky he's not dead," Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco tells the Tampa Bay Times of Port Richey Mayor Dale Massad. The mayor is charged with attempted murder after allegedly firing twice at officers who broke down his door before dawn after when nobody answered their knocks. The officers had a search warrant. The Sheriff’s Office says 68-year-old Massad admitted to firing toward the front entrance of his home after deputies used a shotgun to destroy the door locks. But Massad, who then surrendered, claims he wasn't shooting at officers. "I shot one of my smoke detectors because I couldn't get up there to get it. It wouldn't go off and it was 3am," he tells KNXV.

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Nocco argues officers had every right to return fire, but "did what they thought was appropriate at the time" and withheld. Per the Times, SWAT members suspected Massad was on drugs. The initial charges stated Massad, who lost his medical license in 1992 after a 3-year-old patient's death, continued to order drugs, stitch up wounds, and provide injections from his home, resulting in at least one hospitalization. "It just blows my mind that we could elect a leader that would not only be breaking [the law] but shooting at the police," a neighbor tells KNXV. "I am totally disgusted." (Read more Florida stories.)

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