Law & the Courts

St. Louis Couple Who Pointed Guns at Protesters Indicted by Grand Jury

Patricia McCloskey and her husband Mark McCloskey draw their firearms in St. Louis, Mo., June 28, 2020. (Lawrence Bryant/Reuters)

The St. Louis couple who pointed guns at protesters outside their house in a June incident that was caught on video were indicted Tuesday by a grand jury in St. Louis.

Mark and Patricia McCloskey were charged with two felonies, unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering, after they stood outside their home on Portland Place, a private street, on June 28 and pointed firearms at hundreds of protesters, some of them armed, who marched by, chanted and threatened the couple as they made their way over to St. Louis mayor Lyda Krewson’s residence to demand her resignation. Mark McCloskey, 63, held a semiautomatic rifle while Patricia McCloskey, 61, stood beside him and held a semiautomatic handgun, the prosecutor’s office said.

The McCloskeys, both personal injury lawyers, had been inside their home that Sunday evening when they heard loud activity outside and saw “a large group of subjects forcefully break an iron gate marked with ‘No Trespassing’ and ‘Private Street’ signs,” St. Louis police said.

“The group began yelling obscenities and threats of harm to both victims,” police said.

The indictment against the couple is sealed. None of the protesters have been charged, although police were investigating the incident to determine whether the demonstrators committed trespassing and fourth-degree assault by intimidation.

In an interview shortly after the incident, Mark McCloskey said he and his wife feared for their lives when they observed the “huge and frightening crowd.”

“We were threatened with our lives, threatened with the house being burned down, my office building being burned down, even our dog’s life being threatened. It was about as bad as it can get,” he said.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt in July promised to seek the dismissal of charges against the couple, citing Missouri’s Castle Doctrine, which allows homeowners to use deadly force to defend their private property from intruders. The street the McCloskey’s live on is private property since it is situated within a gated community.

“Enough is enough,” the attorney general said after the charges were filed. “A political prosecution such as this one would have a chilling effect on Missourians exercising the right to self defense.”

The McCloskeys gave remarks during the first night of the Republican National Convention in August.

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