Man arrested after allegedly threatening to kidnap and kill Wichita mayor over Covid-19 mask mandate


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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A retired firefighter who was upset with Wichita’s mask ordinance was arrested on suspicion of threatening to kidnap and kill the mayor of Kansas’ largest city, authorities said.

According to police, on Friday, a 59-year-old suspect, Meredith Dowty, was arrested who might face a criminal threat charge, reported Wichita Eagle.

As said by Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple, a Democrat, a detective called him and read the text messages that were received by another city official that inquired about the address of the mayor and threatened his life.

Whippie said, “He said he was going to kidnap me and slash my throat and he needed my address because I needed to see the hangman — me and everyone who, something about tyranny,”

“It sounded like the person was very upset about pretty much mask mandates and he said something about not being able to see his mother because of COVID restrictions on elderly homes,” he said.

The mayor said that he does not have copy of the messages but he does remember that, “it was anger over the mask ordinance that we got through. Anger over, I think really, just Covid in general.

No other local officials are known to be targeted, according to Charley Davidson, the Wichita police spokesman.

Not much detail was provided by the Wichita Police Department’s statement about what the alleged threat was directed towards. It said the investigation is in progress and will be presented to the district attorney.

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