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Central West End Couple Who Pointed Guns At Protesters Plead Guilty

Personal injury attorneys Mark and Patricia McCloskey emerge Sunday evening from their Portland Place house pointing guns at protesters who were on their way to protest in front of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson's house.| 6/28/20
File photo / Bill Greenblatt
Mark and Patricia McCloskey point guns at protesters in front of their Central West End home on June 28, 2020. They pleaded guilty Thursday to misdemeanor charges in connection with the incident.

Updated at 3:55 p.m. June 17, with comments from Mark McCloskey

A Central West End couple who pointed guns at marchers who had come onto their private street last year pleaded guilty Thursday to misdemeanor charges in connection with the incident.

Mark and Patricia McCloskey entered their pleas during a regularly scheduled court appearance in St. Louis. Mark McCloskey pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault, and his wife, Patricia, to second-degree harassment. They were initially charged with felonies.

Neither will spend any time behind bars, but Mark McCloskey will have to pay a $750 fine and Patricia McCloskey a $2,000 fine. Both must also surrender their weapons.

Mark McCloskey is a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Missouri.

The couple gained notoriety in June 2020, during protests after George Floyd’s murder by a Minneapolis police officer. A group of protesters on their way to the house of then-Mayor Lyda Krewson turned down Portland Place, a wealthy enclave in the Central West End. Pedestrian access to the street is usually blocked by gates, but protesters said they were broken on that day.

The couple pointed a rifle and a handgun at the protesters, yelling at them to “go.” The McCloskeys said they felt threatened by the marchers.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardnercharged the couple last July with unlawful use of a weapon and tampering with evidence, both felonies. Defense attorneys successfully removed her from the case, citing the fact that she referenced the McCloskeys in a campaign mailer. Richard Callahan, a special prosecutor appointed by the judge, handled Thursday’s pleas to the reduced charges.

Mark McCloskey was unrepentant in remarks afterward on the courthouse steps.

“I’d do it again any time the mob approaches me,” he said in a video captured by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I’ll do what I can to place them in imminent threat of physical injury, because that’s what kept them from destroying my house and my family.”

Follow Rachel on Twitter: @rlippmann

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.