Meredith Dowty, 59, faces a criminal threat charge after officials were “alerted to threatening statements directed against the mayor of the city of Wichita, Brandon Whipple,” according to a press release from the Wichita Police Department.
Whipple told CNN he received 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 who also knew me.” The Wichita Eagle reported that the texts were originally sent to another city official.
“And also, this threat was more specific to kidnap and slit my throat,” he said. “It was what I was read. They were graphic.
The Wichita Police Department statement did not specify what the alleged threat was. He indicated that the investigation was underway and that it would be presented to the public prosecutor.
The Wichita Eagle reported that Dowty is a retired city firefighter who was honored by city council in 2008 for helping save a police officer who was shot while on duty.
The city of Wichita approved an order in July requiring people to wear face shields in public spaces and extended the order last month.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the charge against Meredith Dowty. He was arrested on a charge of criminal threat.