Meredith Dowty is the Kansas man accused of threatening to kill the mayor of Wichita over the citywide masks mandate that was carried out to assist cease the unfold of the coronavirus. In accordance to the Wichita Police Division, investigators had been “alerted to threatening statements directed toward” the mayor on October 16 and arrested Dowty the identical day.
The messages weren’t despatched immediately to Mayor Brandon Whipple. The Wichita Eagle reported Dowty contacted somebody who knew the place Whipple lived and requested that particular person for the mayor’s deal with. Whipple stated the sender defined intimately about how he meant to kidnap Whipple and minimize his throat.
Dowty’s arrest comes on the heels of a separate plot in Michigan aimed on the state’s governor. A number of males concerned in a militia group known as the Wolverine Watchmen had been accused of planning to kidnap Gretchen Whitmer and “put her on trial.” 13 persons are going through costs.
Right here’s what you want to know:
1. Meredith Dowty Accused Brandon Whipple of ‘Tyranny’ & Expressed Anger Over Being Unable to Go to His Mom, Whipple Stated
The Wichita Police Division shortly recognized Dowty because the suspect after studying in regards to the threatening messages in opposition to the mayor, in accordance to a information launch.
Dowty texted a special metropolis official to attempt to be taught Whipple’s residence deal with, the mayor informed the Wichita Eagle. That official contacted the police, who then alerted Whipple and shared the contents of the messages with him.
“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 informed the newspaper. He added that within the texts, Dowty advised a motive by stating that he was in opposition to “masks and tyranny.”
The texts graphically laid out what Dowty deliberate to do with Whipple. Whipple informed CNN he has acquired threats earlier than however that this one was distinctive due to the element. “This threat was more specific about kidnapping me and cutting my throat,” Whipple stated. “Those were what was read to me. They were graphic.”
It was not clear whether or not Whipple’s political affiliation was an element with regard to the risk. Whipple is a part of the Democratic celebration and beforehand served within the Kansas Home. In accordance to voter registration information on the Kansas Secretary of State website, Dowty is a registered Republican.
2. Dowty Faces a Felony Risk Cost
Dowty was arrested on October 16 and booked into the Sedgwick County Detention Heart simply after 6 p.m., in accordance to inmate information.
Dowty faces a felony “Criminal Threat” cost. The precise statute is 21.5415.A.1. The Kansas legislature explains on its website that a prison risk is any risk to:
Commit violence communicated with intent to place one other in worry, or to trigger the evacuation, lock down or disruption in common, ongoing actions of any constructing, place of meeting or facility of transportation, or in reckless disregard of the danger of inflicting such worry or evacuation, lock down or disruption in common, ongoing actions.
The inmate document exhibits bond was set at $50,000. It was not instantly clear whether or not Dowty had employed an legal professional.
three. Masks Have Been Required in Public Locations in Wichita Since July
Whipple signed off on an ordinance in July that mandates that masks be worn in all public locations because the pandemic continues. The primary violation would lead to a $25 fantastic, in accordance to the ordinance. The masks mandate was later prolonged till at the very least October 21.
Whipple posted an announcement to social media after Dowty was arrested, wherein he touched on the “tensions” throughout the metropolis. He wrote:
In response to right this moment’s story regarding a risk I acquired:
Violence isn’t a approach to settle disagreements. We’re at all times stronger collectively as a Metropolis even when occasions are at their hardest. Tensions could also be excessive, however we’ll get by way of this collectively as Wichitans.
Chelsea, the boys, & I admire the type ideas & prayers. We additionally would really like to thank the courageous males & girls of the @WichitaPolice who defend not simply us, however our complete neighborhood. Thanks for the quick response on this matter & for all you do.
four. Dowty Is a Retired Firefighter
As shared this morning, a Wichita man allegedly threatened to kidnap & kill the mayor over the town’s masks mandate.@Buzzfeed: https://t.co/KFwlL6MkIN @KAKENews: https://t.co/8zGIqIaEUM#KAKENews pic.twitter.com/4nZhijFlhj
— Annette Lawless KAKE 🌻 (@AnnetteLawless) October 17, 2020
Dowty beforehand served the town of Wichita as a firefighter. In accordance to the Wichita Eagle, the town council honored Dowty and others for saving a police officer’s life in 2008.
The newspaper reported in 2008 that Officer Derek Purcell thought he was going to die after he was shot in each legs whereas on-duty. Different officers arrived on the scene inside seconds and did what they may to sluggish the bleeding.
Dowty was certainly one of seven firefighters who was additionally on-duty and responded to assist Purcell. The Wichita Eagle quoted Dowty after the incident when explaining how pace could make all of the distinction when coping with a trauma sufferer. Dowty informed the newspaper that “generally, you try to meet a ‘golden hour’” to enhance survival charges however that Purcell “had golden seconds.’”
5. Dowty Is Identified in Wichita as a Musician Who Performs Underneath the Title ‘Cathead’
Dowty is a recognized determine in Wichita. The Wichita Eagle cited a former worker who stated Dowty performs at native bars and makes use of the identify “Cathead.”
In accordance to a Fb web page below that identify, “Cathead” is a “solo guitarist playing harmonica and vocals.” He defined within the “about” part that he performs a “variety of classic covers” by musicians together with the Beatles, the Eagles, Johnny Money, Matchbox 20, Merle Haggard, Neil Younger, Don Henley, Amy Grant and others.
The web page has not been up to date since October 2019.
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