WICHITA, Kan. (WDAF/AP) -- Authorities say a retired firefighter who was upset with Wichita’s mask ordinance was arrested on suspicion of threatening to kidnap and kill the city’s mayor.
Police charged the suspect, Wichita resident Meredith Dowty, 59, with making a criminal threat.
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. The mayor says the suspect talked about tyranny in the messages and was upset about the mask mandates and not being able to see his mother because of COVID-19 restrictions on elderly homes.
The Wichita Eagle reports the apparent motive was the suspect’s opposition to “masks and tyranny,” according to Whipple.
“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.
The suspect is a well-known local musician who performs under the name “Cathead” and has played numerous gigs in the Wichita bar and nightclub scene, the Eagle reports.