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Council candidate Blick seeks protection order against ex-candidate Gabel

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, March 27, 2013, at 8:18 p.m.

Wichita City Council candidate Joshua Blick is seeking a protection from stalking order against Wichita businessman Craig Gabel.

A hearing is scheduled Thursday morning in Sedgwick County District Court on a protection from stalking order for Blick and his family. A temporary protection from stalking order was entered March 18 against Gabel.

Blick and Gabel were opponents in the Feb. 26 primary election for the District 4 seat on the Wichita City Council. Blick finished first with 40 percent of the vote, followed by Jeff Blubaugh, a Wichita real estate agent, with 29 percent, Gabel with 24 percent and David Glover with 5 percent. Blick and Blubaugh face each other in Tuesday’s general election.

Blick said Wednesday that Gabel and “his goons” have been harassing him and his family since before the primary election.

“They were getting closer and closer,” he said. “Something had to be done.”

Gabel said Wednesday that he was aware of the order, but initially said, “I haven’t seen the petition.”

Asked if he was saying he had not been served, he clarified, “I guess I just haven’t read the petition.”

Gabel said he has seen Blick “only twice in the last two months” and did not send employees to harass Blick.

“My employees only do one thing — they deliver newspapers,” said Gabel, the owner of the Wichita Post, a south Wichita newspaper that has focused on local politics. “I don’t see that as harassing anybody. I doubt if they know where his house is.”

On March 18, family law judge Steve Ternes entered a temporary order protecting Blick, his wife, Candace, and the couple’s two children from any contact with Gabel. The order makes no mention of Gabel employees.

In a petition seeking the order, Blick alleged improper contact by Gabel and his employees in several incidents.

“I fear for my life and the lives of my family,” Blick said in the petition. “Craig Gabel and his employees are getting closer and closer to my family.”

Blick alleges that on March 15, Gabel pulled up in front of his residence in the 2000 block of South Everett sometime between 2 and 3:30 p.m.

“When I came to the front door we made eye contact and he drove off,” Blick said in the petition.

Blick also alleges that Gabel sent his employees to Blick’s residence on Feb. 14 and Feb. 22, before the primary, and on March 5 and March 17.

“On Feb. 14, 2013, I took video of the employee and showed him my no trespassing sign and he said … they would stop coming on my property,” Blick said in the petition. “This was ignored and is still continuing.”

Another alleged incident, which is documented with a Wichita police incident report, occurred on Feb. 26, primary election night.

“I was out with my family on the corner of Seneca and Pawnee,” Blick said in the petition. “I caught Craig Gabel’s worker stealing my property (Blick has identified that property to The Eagle as campaign signs) and I confronted him. He threatened me with a large limb and 2x4 board.”

Blick said that after police were called and a report was made, four men came to his home. When Blick arrived home, the men left, he said.

And finally, Blick alleges that Gabel threatened him at a weekly meeting of the Pachyderm Club, a Republican group, in downtown Wichita. He does not provide a date for the threat in the petition.

Reach Bill Wilson at 316-268-6290 or bwilson@wichitaeagle.com.

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