Meredith Dowty Wichita, Kansas man arrested threatening to kidnap & kill Wichita mayor Brandon Whipple over mask mandate. Faces criminal threat charge.
Meredith ‘Cathead’ Dowty, 59, was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail on Friday, pending charges.
Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple said another city official read him the text messages Dowty is accused of writing. They asked about his address and threatened his life, the Kansas City Star reports.
‘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. ‘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.’
The Wichita Police Department confirmed Dowty’s arrest to the newspaper and said he could face a criminal threat charge.
UPDATES: The suspect has been identified as 59-year-old Meredith “Cathead” Dowty, a local musician and former Wichita firefighter who was honored by Wichita City Council in 2008 for helping rescue an officer shot in the line of duty.
— Chance Swaim (@byChanceSwaim) October 17, 2020
Former Wichita hero
Dowty is a retired firefighter once honored by the City Council for saving the life of a police officer who was shot in the line of duty. He is also a well-known musician who performs under the name ‘Cathead,’ according to the Kansas City Star.
Of note, 3KSN previously ran a 2017 story about the Wichita based musician and his then 23 year old son traveling and documenting an 8-month trek from Argentina to Alaska.
Like many officials across the country, Whipple proposed the face mask mandate in response to the ongoing coronavirus. The ordinance requires the wearing of face coverings in most public settings. It apparently is unpopular with residents.
‘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 said of Dowty.
‘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.’
In a Friday tweet, Whipple addressed the threats.
‘Violence is never a way to settle disagreements,’ he posted. ‘We’re always stronger together as a City even when times are at their toughest. Tensions maybe high, but we will get through this together as Wichitans.’