Mayor Brandon Whipple of Wichita, Kan. Said he was threatened with “goofy” threats many times, like the time someone said he was going to attack him in a Goodyear airship.
But those threats took a serious turn on Friday after someone reported to police that they had received text messages threatening to kidnap and kill Democrat Mr. Whipple. Although the messages were not sent directly to Mr. Whipple, he said a detective read them to him.
The news contained a “very descriptive execution plan” that included finding the mayor, cutting his throat, hanging him up, and then turning him into manure, Whipple said Saturday.
Mr Whipple said the man sent the messages to a third party who later reported them to police. The news described the mayor using a code name, asked for his address, and also mentioned resistance to masks and guidelines to reduce coronavirus.
The mayor urged a mask mandate in Wichita in July.
“This is not someone who is just a little mad,” said Mr. Whipple. “That sounded like it was intended in the text messages that were read to me.”
On Friday the Wichita Police Department said in a press release Meredith Dowty, 59, was arrested on charges of criminal threats related to allegations made against Mr. Whipple.
The results of the investigation will be presented to the Sedgwick District Attorney’s Office, police said.
Attempts to reach Mr. Dowty by phone and email on Sunday were unsuccessful. It was not known if Mr. Dowty had an attorney.
District Attorney Marc Bennett said police would take their case to prosecutors “at the end of their investigation,” which he expected this week.
The Wichita eagle reported that Mr. Dowty is a retired Wichita firefighter who was once honored by the city council for helping save the life of a policeman who was shot dead.
Wichita Police Department officer Charley Davidson said Sunday that he was unaware of other threats against elected officials.
It is the latest in a series of threats against government officials this month.
October 8th the F.B.I. said an anti-government group in Michigan had planned in detail to kidnap the state governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat. The F.B.I. also said on Thursday that Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia, also a Democrat, was discussed as a target by the same group.
Ms. Whitmer has become a focus of anti-government anger over her efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
In Wichita, Mr. Whipple endorsed a city-wide mask rule in July after the Sedgwick County’s commissioners authorized by a change in the law, rolled back a state-imposed mandate. District officials finally set up their own mask rule whatever.
At a City council meetingMore than 100 people have spoken out against the rule. The mayor said the people blamed him for it.
“I was the one who led it and I would take the blame for it,” he said.
Although Mr Whipple said he was angry and upset about the threats, he said he just wanted to go back to his job as mayor.
“Until I am voted out or until they successfully murder me, I hope to do what is right for the people of Wichita,” he said.