St. Louis Circuit Attorney Files Charges against Viral Couple Who Brandished Firearms at Protestors

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By Linh Nguyen

ST. LOUIS, MO – Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who brandished their firearms from their mansion’s lawn at passing peaceful protesters almost a month ago, in a video that then went viral, had charges filed against them today by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner.

The incident occurred on June 28. Sixty-one-year-old Mark McCloskey and 63-year-old Patricia McCloskey were standing outside their home on a private street in an upscale neighborhood where the protesters were marching to Mayor Lyda Krewson’s house to protest racial injustice.

Mark McCloskey was wielding a rifle while Patricia McCloskey was holding a smaller handgun. Photos and videos show the two aiming at the passing protestors in an intimidating fashion. The McCloskeys, who are also personal injury lawyers, are now facing a misdemeanor charge of fourth degree assault.

“It is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner at those participating in nonviolent protest, and while we are fortunate this situation did not escalate into deadly force, this type of conduct is unacceptable in St. Louis,” said Gardner.

The decision to issue charges was made after a thorough investigation with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. Through eyewitness interviews and review of video footage, the police officers determined that there is probable cause that the McCloskeys committed a crime.

As written in the probable cause statement signed by police officer Curtis Burgdorf, “Mark McCloskey screamed at the demonstrators, lowered his rifle, and pointed it towards the group of protestors walking through the gate and onto the street and sidewalk of Portland Place.

“Patricia McCloskey began yelling at the protestors to ‘go’ while pointing the handgun at the demonstrators, […], placing them in fear of being injured due to Patricia McCloskey’s finger being on the trigger, coupled with her excited demeanor. […]. Still armed with his rifle, [Mark] and Patricia McCloskey continued to yell at protestors while pointing their firearms at the protestors standing on the sidewalk and street,” according to the statement.

The McCloskeys have made public statements since the incident, claiming that they were defending their home after protestors entered their property.

The McCloskeys were not arrested; they were issued a summons to appear in court. This is a progressive effort by the prosecutor to reduce incarceration for low-level crimes, as they were each charged with one count of unlawful use of a weapon. Further leniency was offered to the McCloskeys.

“I am open to recommending the McCloskeys participate in one of my office’s diversion programs that are designed to reduce unnecessary involvement with the courts,” Gardner said. “I believe this would serve as a fair resolution to this matter.”

Following the prosecutor’s decision, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a brief in the McCloskeys’ case, supporting the Castle Doctrine law and seeking dismissal of the charges Gardner’s office filed.

“The right to keep and bear arms is given the highest level of protection in our constitution and our laws, including the Castle Doctrine,” said Schmitt. “This provides broad rights to Missourians who are protecting their property and lives from those who wish to do them harm. Despite this, Circuit Attorney Gardner filed charges against the McCloskeys, who, according to reports, were defending their property and safety.

“As Missouri’s chief law enforcement officer, I won’t stand by while Missouri law is being ignored. That’s why I entered this case to seek its dismissal, to protect the rights of Missourians to defend their property under Missouri’s Castle Doctrine,” the state AG said.

The brief Schmitt filed stated that a “highly publicized” criminal prosecution of Missouri citizens for exercising their “fundamental” freedoms to bear arms “threatens to intimidate and deter law-abiding Missouri citizens from exercising their constitutional right of self-defense.”

The state Attorney General requests that the Court dismisses this case at the earliest possible opportunity.

Days before the McCloskeys were charged, Missouri Governor Mike Parson told a radio host that he would likely pardon them if they were charged, also citing the Castle Doctrine law. Parson also said he spoke to President Trump about the case and that Trump would “do what he can to help.”

Also, before charges were pressed, U.S. Senator Josh Hawley called on U.S. Attorney General William Barr to launch a federal civil rights investigation into Gardner for abuse of power for investigating the McCloskeys.

Gardner still filed charges against the McCloskeys. who face up to four years in prison and a fine of $10,000 for the crime.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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23 thoughts on “St. Louis Circuit Attorney Files Charges against Viral Couple Who Brandished Firearms at Protestors”

  1. Bill Marshall

    I might confront verbally, but would not bring an automatic rifle or handgun to make my points…

    I’d feel differently if someone broke down my front door, at night… if I feared for the life of someone else, or myself, I’d not hesitate to consider lethal force.  But short of that, no…

  2. Keith Olsen

    The McCloskey’s did nothing wrong.  They were trying to protect their property and since they suffered no damage, except for the smashed entry gate to the community, they succeeded.  Everyone has seen what these mobs have done the last few months so it wasn’t too far fetched for them to think that might happen to their home.  I commend the McCloskey’s for taking a stand.

    What, this doesn’t fit the “out of control DA” narrative that we often read on the Vanguard?

    1. Alan Miller

      > they suffered no damage.

      They suffered a lot of humiliation as they look silly in all the photos.  I’d probably go get my gun too if they came through the gate, but stepping out front like that when the mob wasn’t even on the lawn wasn’t a wise move.  I understand their concern and grabbing guns, but I can’t commend them for stepping outside and brandishing.  If the mob was approaching the house, then yes.  But you can see in vids some protestors just urging people to move along.

        1. Keith Olsen

          We’ve all seen the videos of supposed peaceful protesters causing much damage and graffiti.  It looks like the McCloskeys stopped them from even considering doing any harm.  Good for them.

          Now you know David if those were liberals standing outside with firearms with a bunch of right wing protesters barging into their neighborhood you would have a different spin on this.

          1. David Greenwald

            The McCloskeys house is up against my Aunt’s synagogue in St Louis. They are strange people.

        2. Keith Olsen

          So?  I’ve read much of the maligning done on them by the press, but what’s interesting is the comment section is running probably 20 to 1 in their favor.  The people get it.

      1. Bill Marshall

        Eric, Keith, David…

        This isn’t about 1st, 2nd or 5th amendments… it’s about being reactionary jerks… all around… particularly the McCloskeys… IMNSHO, they should get a rigorous “hand-slap”… nothing more, nothing less…

        There is the reported destruction of private property (gate)… those responsible should also get a severe ‘hand-slap’… and as part of  “restorative justice”, fully reimburse the ‘community’ for the fix, and all should do ‘community service time’… inc. the McCloskey’s… but that’s just me…

        I figure 40-80 hours for those all around…

        [BTW, the McCloskey’s should keep their guns, but forfeit all their ammunition for 30 days… guns don’t kill people, ammo does…]

    2. Eric Gelber

      The McCloskey’s did nothing wrong. 

      Really?:

      “It is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner at those participating in nonviolent protest …”

       

        1. Bill Marshall

          McCloskeys are protected by Missouri’s Castle Doctrine.

          Seems like that was Zimmerman’s defense (FL law)… in an open, but private property area… that didn’t work out real well in FL… fortunately in MO, no one was injured, died…

  3. Chris Griffith

    One person’s protester is another person’s intruder.

    Once a mob breaks down a gate and enters onto private property threatens to burn down your house I think any reasonable person would fear for their life I know I sure as hell would.

    1. Eric Gelber

      threatens to burn down your house

      When did that happen—before or after the McCloskeys threatened peaceful protesters with semi-automatic weapons? It was the McCloskeys who, by their actions, escalated the whole incident and put themselves, the protesters,  and the community in danger.

    2. Bill Marshall

      threatens to burn down your house

      Must have missed that in the narrative… you have other information?

      If so, please share… might change my view, might not…

        1. Bill Marshall

          Didn’t change my view… ‘personal injury lawyers’ (aka, leeches, in the main)

          Not convincing as to threat, personal or property, and background sure looks like die-hards on far political “right”…

          I have to assume, Chris G, that you share those views, as opposed to truth… your right…

          But I seriously differ… but, you can feel free to back-shoot me if I wander into your neighborhood (unarmed)… just exercising your second amendment, and “protecting your castle” rights…  and if/when that happens, may God Almighty have mercy on your soul… and may the justice system prosecute you to the max…

  4. John Hobbs

    She has her finger on the trigger, ready to shoot. He’s brandishing in a threatening manner, but neither should be allowed to own firearms. Fourth degree assault is a gift.

    1. Bill Marshall

      Said before… I think they should own firearms… just, NO AMMO… 2nd amendment doesn’t explicitly cover ammunition!

      Think Barney Fife… only allowed one bullet, and he had to keep that in a pocket!  Far away from the gun…

  5. Tia Will

    Lost in all this discussion is the very reason for the protests, namely, legalized murders at the hands of the police. Pity how many value property over lives, whether guilty of anything at all.

    Tamir Rice, Philando Castille, Stephon Clark, Breonna Taylor in case you have forgotten those examples.

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