PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A New Port Richey man has been arrested after an alleged incident of domestic violence ended in deputies “fighting for their lives,” according to the sheriff.
The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, Pasco Fire-Rescue, Pasco Emergency Management and several other federal agencies were called to the scene in the Summertree subdivision of New Port Richey on Wednesday.
Sheriff Nocco confirmed Sherif Elganainy, 21, was home with his mother and father when his parents smelled something suspicious in the home and tried to investigate what it was.
Elganainy allegedly then struck his father, prompting an EMS call to the home.
Elganainy and his father went to the hospital while his mother stayed at home.
Pasco deputies arrived to check on her. She told them she did not want to be near her son. She also informed the deputies of the odd smell in the home.
Nocco confirmed Elganainy returned home from the hospital while the deputies were still present and a “very violent fight ensued.”
Nocco said Elganainy tried to take deputies’ guns from their holsters.
A deputy suffered a broken hand and another suffered a head injury. They are currently being treated.
More deputies were called to the scene and were able to take Elganainy into custody.
Deputies said they saw and smelled things within the home, leading them to believe explosives were inside. A bomb squad was called.
Nocco said materials found inside the home were concerning, and law enforcement is concerned over Elganainy’s criminal history. Elganainy has been arrested in Osceola County on charges of domestic battery and strangulation.
“You have the Joint Terrorism (Task) Force, Pasco Sheriff’s Office, everybody out here. We are treating this, this guy could’ve been a potential terrorist. We’re treating it at that level. We’re going to do everything we can. You look around the world, you see what happened in Germany, you see what happens across this country and across the world. The information we have, we’re not just going to look the other way,” the sheriff said.
Officials said no one was evacuated from nearby homes and “no one was in harms way.”
Both Elganainy’s mother and father are okay, according to Nocco, as are the injured deputies.
Elganainy is charged with two counts of domestic violence, a count of battering a law enforcement officer and two counts of resisting arrest with violence.
Officials are waiting for a search warrant to continue the investigation and confirm what hazardous materials are present.
Denise Quiroga lives nearby. “There was at least 50 to 100 police cars here all day and detectives. It is a bit of a worry with what’s going on in the world today,” she said.
In a press conference update Thursday, Nocco said deputies were dealing with “an extremely dangerous individual.”
Nocco said law enforcement does not believe the incident was terrorism-related, but they are looking at every angle and not ruling it out.
Elganainy’s mother allegedly told deputies that Elganainy will say things like “he belongs to ISIS” when he is very angry, but law enforcement made clear that they have not found anything to support those claims.
Nocco could not comment about what kind of chemicals were found in Elganainy’s bedroom Wednesday night, but said they are not precursors for making drugs.
“I would not want our family members, our citizens…around this person. Ever,” Nocco said.