Wichita, Kansas – A retired firefighter who was upset by the mandatory mask-wearing mandate imposed in Wichita has been arrested on suspicion of threatening to kidnap and murder the mayor of the most populous city in the state of Kansas, authorities said.
Police said the 59-year-old suspect was taken into custody Friday and could face a criminal threat charge, according to the Wichita Eagle newspaper.
Wichita Democratic Mayor Brandon Whipple said someone read him text messages received from another city official asking for the mayor’s address and threatening to kill him.
“He said he was going to kidnap me and cut my throat and he needed my direction because I needed to see the executor – me and everyone who, something about tyranny,” Whipple said.
“It sounded like the person was very upset more than anything by the mandates of the mask and said something about not being able to see his mother due to the COVID restrictions in nursing homes,” added the mayor.
Wichita police spokesman Charley Davidson said that no other officer appears to have been threatened.
The arrest comes more than a week after authorities said they foiled a plan to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Authorities allege that members of two anti-government paramilitary groups participated in the plot in that case. Six men face charges in federal court for conspiring to kidnap the governor. Eight others are indicted in state court on charges that include providing support material for terrorist acts.