Gun-Pointing Couple Enter Guilty Pleas

'I'd do it again,' Mark McCloskey says outside St. Louis court
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 17, 2021 4:36 PM CDT
McCloskeys Plead Guilty but Don't Back Down
Mark and Patricia McCloskey stand in front of their house in St. Louis in June 2020 as demonstrators walk by.   (Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP, File)

A St. Louis couple who gained notoriety for pointing guns at social justice demonstrators last year pleaded guilty Thursday to misdemeanor charges and agreed to give up the weapons they used during the confrontation. Patricia McCloskey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment and was fined $2,000. Her husband, Mark McCloskey, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault and was fined $750, the AP reports. When several hundred demonstrators marched past their home in June 2020, the couple waved weapons at them. They claimed that the protesters were trespassing and that they feared for their safety. The McCloskeys, both lawyers in their 60s, spoke calmly in answering questions from Judge David Mason during Thursday's hearing. Mason asked Mark McCloskey, who's running for a US Senate seat in Missouri, if he acknowledged that his actions put people at risk of personal injury. He replied, "I sure did, your honor."

Mark McCloskey was unapologetic after the hearing. "I'd do it again," he said from the courthouse steps in downtown St. Louis. "Any time the mob approaches me, I'll do what I can to put them in imminent threat of physical injury because that's what kept them from destroying my house and my family." The McCloskeys' defense lawyer, Joel Schwartz, said after the hearing the couple had hoped to raise money by donating Mark's rifle to charity. The McCloskeys do not face the possibility of losing their law licenses and can continue to own firearms. The protesters, prosecutor Richard Callahan said, were a "peaceful group, including women and children." He said there was "no evidence that any of them had a weapon." Then-President Donald Trump spoke out in defense of the couple, who appeared via video at the Republican National Convention.

(More Mark McCloskey stories.)

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