St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner filed felony weapons charges Monday against Mark and Patricia McCloskey.
The St. Louis couple made headlines in June after wielding weapons as they confronted a group of protesters who had broken a gate and entered their private neighborhood on their way to Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home.
The pair were charged with unlawful use of a weapon/flourishing, a class E felony that could bring a $10,000 fine and up to four years in prison, according to local NBC station 5 On Your Side. Gardner, however, has reportedly not expressed interest in a prison term, instead saying she is “open” to a pretrial diversion program.
— Tony Messenger (@tonymess) July 20, 2020
“It is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner at those participating in a nonviolent protest, and while we are fortunate this situation did not escalate into deadly force, this type of conduct is unacceptable in St. Louis,” Gardner wrote in her statement announcing the charges, 5 On Your Side reported. “The decision to issue charges was made after a thorough investigation with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.”
Police executed a search warrant and seized the AR-15 used by Mark McCloskey earlier this month.
McCloskey family attorney Joel Schwartz called the charges “disheartening” in a Monday statement. (RELATED: ‘Traditional Media Is Right Behind The Mob’: Mark McCloskey Joins Tucker Carlson)
“I, along with my clients, support the First Amendment right of every citizen to have their voice and opinion heard,” Schwartz wrote, according to 5 On Your Side. “This right, however, must be balanced with the Second Amendment and Missouri law, which entitle each of us to protect our home and family from potential threats. With that being said, given the heightened attention focused on this matter due to the current political environment, I don’t believe it is prudent to comment any further, at this time, or to try this case in the media.”