A Missouri man who was pictured along with his wife as they brandishing guns outside their home while Black Lives Matter protesters marched past has said he could face charges in the case.
Mark McCloskey, 63, made headlines on June 28 when he was pictured alongside his wife Patricia outside their Renaissance palazzo-style home in St. Louis .
They were caught on video pointing their weapons at demonstrators who were on their way to protest outside Mayor Lyda Krewson’s house.
McCloskey, a personal injury attorney, owns the firearms legally.
Kimberly Gardner, circuit attorney in St. Louis, announced shortly after the June incident that her office and the St. Louis Police Department would be conducting an investigation into the McCloskeys’ display of firearms.
On July 10 the McCloskeys’ home was searched, and Mr McCloskey’s AR-15 assault rifle was seized. Arrangements were also made to turn over the handgun wielded by Mrs McCloskey.
Mark McCloskey appeared on Fox News on Saturday to discuss the July 10 raid on his home
McCloskey and his wife Patricia went viral after a June 28 run in with BLM protesters
McCloskey on Saturday told Fox News that he believed he would face charges, although he was unclear what they would be.
‘I don’t know the details of the criminal aspect of this, although I think there is no criminal aspect of this,’ he said.
‘But I think under the technicalities of Missouri law, in order to trump up whatever the attorneys are going to have against us, we have to test-fire the weapon or make sure that it’s the gun and credibly capable of being lethal.’
The Fox News host, Jesse Watters, shook his head in dismay.
‘And now you think you might get indicted by this radical DA,’ said Watters.
‘You could probably slap the city of St Louis with a law suit.’
Watters asked if McCloskey was considering that,
‘I’m just trying to get on with my life,’ he replied.
‘I’m trying not to say too much, because at any moment we could be slapped with a summons and arrested.’
McCloskey told Fox News he could face charges, but he did not know what
McCloskey said his wife was struggling with the attention, but praised her defense of their property, saying he did not expect her to also display her weapon, a handgun, during the event.
‘I was always surprised to see her out there facing off [the] welfare crowd,’ he said.
‘I grabbed my rifle and I was standing up on the porch – and all of a sudden I see her in the front yard with our pistol in her hand. What a woman.’
The protesters were en route to Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home to demand her resignation after she released the names and addresses of residents who had suggested defunding the police department.
They had broken their way into the gated community where the McCloskeys live.
Attorney Gardner, who is St. Louis’ top prosecutor, issued a statement after the June 28 incident in which she said she was ‘alarmed’ by the McCloskeys actions.
Gardner added that ‘any attempt to chill (the right to peacefully protest) through intimidation or threat of deadly force will not be tolerated.’
The couple’s attorney Joel Schwartz said that under Missouri law, people who are in reasonable apprehension or fear have the right to take necessary steps to defend themselves.
‘In this particular situation, people not only broke the law and trespassed on private property, but they committed property damage,’ Schwartz said, adding that a St. Louis business was burned down and a retired police captain was killed in the week leading up to the confrontation.
Photos of the couple standing outside their palatial property armed with an AR-15 and a handgun were beamed around the world at the end of June
Meanwhile, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has reported that public records and interviews show the McCloskeys are almost always in conflict with others, typically over control of private property.
They filed a lawsuit in 1988 to obtain their house, a castle built for Adolphus Busch´s daughter and her husband in the early 20th century.
At the McCloskeys´ property in Franklin County, they have sued neighbors for making changes to a gravel road and twice evicted tenants from a modular home on their property.
Mark McCloskey sued a former employer for wrongful termination and his sister, father and his father´s caretaker for defamation.
The triangle of land bordering the McCloskey home has been the source of a long dispute
The McCloskeys and the trustees of Portland Place, the private street in a St. Louis historic district where they live, have been involved in a three-year legal dispute over a small piece of land in the neighborhood.
The couple claim they own it, but the trustees say it belongs to the neighborhood.
Mark McCloskey said in an affidavit that he has defended the patch previously by pointing a gun at a neighbor who tried to cut through it.