Man Allegedly Threatened To Kidnap Wichita Mayor Over COVID-19 Mask Mandate


Kansas Governor Issues Mandatory Mask Wearing Order As Covid-19 Cases Rise

Kansas Governor Issues Mandatory Mask Wearing Order As Covid-19 Cases Rise

Authorities in Kansas arrested a man who allegedly threatened to kidnap and kill Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple. Police said that 59-year-old Meredith Dowty sent threatening text messages to another city official.

"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, according to the Wichita Eagle.

Whipple said that Dowty was upset over the restrictions he put in place to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

"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," Whipple explained.

Whipple has received other threats from residents who were not happy with the mask mandate he put in place over the summer. Officials said that Dowty's threat was different, and investigators felt it was credible.

"This wasn't just some guy popping off on social media," Whipple said. "He contacted someone that knows where I live that apparently he thought would give him my address."

Dowty, who was a former Wichita firefighter, was taken into custody and is being held at Sedgwick County Jail on a single charge of criminal threat.

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