Florida mayor resigns after arrest for allegedly shooting at police officers

PHOTO: Dale Massad, the mayor of Port Richey, Florida, was arrested on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019.PlayPasco Sheriff's Office
WATCH Port Richey mayor arrested after shots fired

A Florida mayor, who was accused of practicing medicine without a license, resigned on Friday, one day after he was arrested for allegedly firing shots at deputies who were attempting to serve a search warrant, according to police.

Port Richey Mayor Dale Massad was arrested and charged with two counts of attempted homicide after he allegedly shot at two sheriff's deputies at his home in central Florida, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said.

Brian Corley, the Pasco County Supervisor of Election, tweeted that Massad had resigned from his elected position late Friday.

"Our office has been notified by the City of Port Richey general counsel that mayor Dale Massad has resigned. In accordance with the municipal charter of the City of Port Richey, a special election will be held on a date to be determined."

Massad, 68, also faces charges of practicing medicine without a license. There were no injuries reported and the deputies did not return fire, according to the sheriff's office.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had issued an executive order suspending Massad earlier in the day Friday and said, "Dale Glen Massad is clearly unfit to continue serving as Mayor for the City of Port Richey. 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 is a known drug user with a history of violence, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said at a press conference Thursday. He was elected mayor of Port Richey, which is located about 40 miles north of Tampa, in 2015.

PHOTO: Police surrounded the home of Port Richey, Florida, Mayor Dale Massad after he allegedly shot at officers serving him a warrant on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. No one was injured. ABC News
Police surrounded the home of Port Richey, Florida, Mayor Dale Massad after he allegedly shot at officers serving him a warrant on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. No one was injured.

"We knew this was going to be a very dangerous situation, which it did turn out to be," Nocco said. "Our deputies did an unbelievable job. Those deputies were professional, their training kicked in and they did a great job.

"He's lucky he's not dead," he added.

Massad, who was recently arrested for a domestic violence incident, had multiple weapons at his home and told deputies that he refused to go back to jail, according to Nocco.

"This was a violent individual who had made the statement [saying] he wasn't going back to jail," Nocco said. "We did everything we could to make it a peaceful resolution. He's the one who made the decision to shoot at us."

Massad was a licensed doctor from 1977 until 1992, when he voluntarily surrendered his license after the Board of Medicine alleged his errors in care led to a 3-year-old patient’s death in 1990, according to the Florida Department of Health.

PHOTO: Dale Massad, the mayor of Port Richey, Florida, was arrested on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. Pasco Sheriffs Office
Dale Massad, the mayor of Port Richey, Florida, was arrested on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019.

Agents launched an investigation after receiving reports that Massad had been seeing patients at his home for medical treatment, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said in a statement.

"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," the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said. "He had performed medical procedures at his residence with one procedure requiring additional hospital treatment for the patient."

The Port Richey mayor's office did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

It's unclear if Massad has retained an attorney.

ABC News' Rachel Katz contributed to this report.

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