St. Louis Couple Charged for Waving Guns at Protesters

St. Louis’ top prosecutor has charged Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the couple who pointed guns at protesters marching by their mansion last month, with felony unlawful use of a weapon. The McCloskeys, who are both personal injury attorneys in their 60s, also face a misdemeanor charge of fourth-degree assault, the Associated Press reported. Circuit Attorney …

St. Louis’ top prosecutor has charged Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the couple who pointed guns at protesters marching by their mansion last month, with felony unlawful use of a weapon.

The McCloskeys, who are both personal injury attorneys in their 60s, also face a misdemeanor charge of fourth-degree assault, the Associated Press reported.

Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said “It is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner —  that is unlawful in the city of St. Louis.”

Many have defended the McCloskeys, saying they were legally protecting their $1.15 million home as several hundred protesters marched by on their way to the mayor’s home a few blocks away. The couple heard a loud commotion and saw a large group of people break an iron gate marked with “No Trespassing” and “Private Street” signs, according to a police report.

A protest leader has disputed this version of events, saying the gate was open and undamaged.

Mark McCloskey allegedly met protesters with a semi-automatic rifle, screaming and pointing the gun at them before his wife joined him with a semi-automatic handgun, yelling at protesters to “go” and pointing it at them. No shots were fired.

An attorney for the couple, Joel Schwartz, in a statement called Gardner’s decision to charge “disheartening.”

“I unequivocally believe no crime was committed,” he said.

Gardner is recommending a diversion program such as community service rather than jail time if they are convicted, though Missouri Governor Mike Parson said in a radio interview Friday that he would likely pardon the couple if they were convicted.

Parson, who co-authored Missouri’s “castle doctrine” law that justifies deadly force for those who are defending their homes from intruders, has said that the McCloskeys “had every right to protect their property.”

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