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

October 17, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

The mayor of Wichita, Kansas, says a man who he says threatened to kidnap him was upset over the city's COVID-19 mask ordinance.

(CNN)The mayor of Wichita, Kansas, says a man who he says threatened to kidnap him was upset over the city's COVID-19 mask ordinance.

Meredith Dowty, 59, is facing a criminal threat charge after officials were "alerted to threatening statements directed toward city of Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple," according to a news release from Wichita police.

Whipple told CNN he gets threats periodically, but the details of "this one seemed different. "

He said a detective called him and read the text messages that were "sent to someone else who knew this person, but also knew me. " The Wichita Eagle reported that the texts were originally sent to another city official.

"And also, this threat was more specific about kidnapping me and cutting my throat," he said.

The Wichita Police Department's statement did not detail what the alleged threat was about.

The Wichita Eagle reported that Dowty is a retired city firefighter who the city council honored in 2008 for helping save a police officer who was shot in the line of duty.

The City of Wichita approved an ordinance in July requiring people to wear facial coverings in public spaces and extended the ordinance last month.

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