A Kansas man was arrested on suspicion of threatening to kidnap and kill the mayor of Wichita over the city's mask mandate
A man was arrested Friday for an alleged conspiracy to kidnap and kill Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple, shown here in a 2013 file photo. AP Photo / Nicholas Clayton
A man in Wichita, Kansas was arrested on an alleged conspiracy to kidnap and kill the city's mayor, Brandon Whipple, because the city had restrictions related to containing the spread of COVID-19.
Meredith Dowty, 59, was arrested by local police Friday night and could face criminal threats, according to the Kansas City Star.
His arrest comes less than a week after a group of men - part of a right-wing militia - were arrested in Michigan for conspiracy to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
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A man in Witchita, Kansas was arrested Friday for alleged intent to kidnap and kill Witchita Mayor Brandon Whipple for his city-wide arrangements to spread the COVID-19 tribe.
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According to a report by the Kansas City Star, Wichita police arrested 59-year-old Meredith Dowty on Friday and said he could be charged with a criminal threat. The Witchita Police Department did not immediately return Insider's request for comment on Saturday.
According to the report, Dowty was posted to Sedgwick County Jail Friday night.
The arrest came after Whipple was shown text messages by another city official in which Dowty requested personal information about the mayor, including his home address, and contained a "detailed" threat to his life, according to the Kansas City Star report.
"He said he was going to kidnap me and cut my throat and he needed my address because I had to see the hangman - me and everyone involved in tyranny," Whipple said, according to the newspaper.
The mayor added, "It sounded like the person was very upset about pretty much mask mandates and said something about not being able to see his mother because of COVID restrictions on older homes."
Whipple said he believed the threat against him was believable and said "this is not just a guy who shows up on social media," the report said.
Dowty is a local musician and retired firefighter who was honored by the Wichita City Council in 2008 for saving the life of a policeman who was shot dead.
Dowty's anger was particularly due to Whipple's citywide mask mandate, enacted in July, which requires face-covering in public spaces. As the Kansas City Star noted, the mandate has sparked backlash and protests from individuals and groups who argue that the mandate violates their rights and religion.
Most recently, after a long 9-hour meeting in September, Witchita City Council voted to extend the mask mandate until October 21, according to a report from the local sales outlet Salina Post.
Similar anti-mask protests and sentiments have been prevalent in other US states and cities that have issued mandates to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus this year.
The arrest comes just about a week after more than a dozen men were arrested on charges of devising a plan to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The group of men, part of a right-wing armed militia group known as the Wolverine Watchmen, are accused of organizing themselves into encrypted chat groups, meeting in different locations to train with weapons and trying to Explosives as part of the Democratic Governor's plot to procure.
Whitmer has received the most violent backlash in the country to its COVID-19 prevention and mitigation efforts throughout the pandemic. In May, hundreds of people - some armed with guns and other weapons - entered the Michigan state capital in Lansing to protest a government order restricting business.
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