PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — In a jailhouse interview obtained from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, jailed former Port Richey Mayor Dale Massad expressed disbelief about still being in jail and expounded on why Port Richey Police may have "set him up."
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"Basically, it's like, am I in Russia, or am I in America?" Massad asks at one point during the interview last month. "Why are they keeping me here? Explain that to me."
Massad was arrested on February 21 after an incident at his home where he allegedly fired a weapon at deputies and FDLE agents who were there to serve him a warrant.
“I heard this stuff, and I’m yelling, 'who is it? Who is it?' Because I don’t know who it is, I don’t know what it is," Massad explained. "I’m groggy, it’s 4:30 in the morning, I just jumped out of bed, I’m scared to death.”
Massad goes on to say his attorney told him no law enforcement agents were allowed inside his home without a warrant because Port Richey Police had searched him illegally in the past. It's that prior encounter with the city's law enforcement that Massad believes is the reason behind why he was set up.
“The idea was, and this is what I’m told, that they had to put something on me that was a felony," Massad said. "That they couldn’t figure out what it was. Was it drugs? The only thing they could come up with was maybe practicing medicine without a license."
Massad then claims he wasn't sure who was at his door, so he fired the weapon, not intending to hurt anyone.
“So I shot in two directions that I knew could not hit a policeman," he said. "And one of them was into my elevator shaft — that’s nine inches of concrete to go through. It’s not going through there.”
He then talked about the case that made him give up his medical license, where a three-year-old girl who he said he became a godfather to died.
“She was overdosed by the dentist who was the anesthesiologist," Massad said. "There was no turning it around."
Later Massad changed topics again to his political career and achievements, defiant in his conviction that he was good for the City of Port Richey.
“I dare you to do as good as I did," he said. "This is the only bad thing right here, and I don’t know why I’m here. I really don’t.”
Finally, the former mayor went on to talk about drug use, police responding to his home and how Port Richey shouldn’t have its own police department.
Massad is being held on no bond, charged with five counts of attempted murder along with several counts of practicing medicine without a license. Earlier this month, two new charges were added in this case for Massad reportedly attempting to solicit/conspire to obstruct an ongoing investigation and unlawful use of a two-way communication device.