Police: Man upset with mask mandate threatens Wichita mayor

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

Police said 59-year-old Meredith Dowty of Wichita could face a charge of criminal threat, the Wichita Eagle <a href=”https://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article246513655.html” target=”&mdash;blank”>reported</a>.

Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple said he had been read text messages received by another city official that asked about the mayor’s address and threatened his life.

“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,” Whipple said.

“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.

Wichita police spokesman Charley Davidson said the department is investigating the threats and that so far, no other local officials are believed to have been targeted.