As reported at the time by The Inquisitr, in late June a group of demonstrators was marching through the St. Louis neighborhood where Mayor Lyda Krewson lives in order to demand her resignation over prior statements she’d made. However, the neighborhood is private, with no access from the street except for homeowners who live there. In order to get into the neighborhood, they breached a gate.
Two homeowners on the street, later identified as Mark and Patricia McCloskey, were then caught on video emerging from their home with guns and allegedly pointing them at protesters. Patricia appeared to be holding a handgun, while Mark appeared to be holding a weapon later identified as an AR-15 rifle.
In a statement released Monday, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner announced that the pair have each been charged with one count of exhibiting, a felony.
“It is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner at those participating in nonviolent protest, and while we are fortunate this situation did not escalate into deadly force, this type of conduct is unacceptable [in this city],” she said.
She also noted that she would be open to prosecuting this case with a view towards putting the pair through a diversion program, which is akin to a form of probation that would result in them having no criminal conviction.
The couple’s attorney, Joel Schwartz, called the charges “disheartening as I unequivocally believe no crime was committed.”
Mark McCloskey, for his part, previously said that he believed his and his wife’s lives were in danger from a “mob” that day.
“I believe in my heart of hearts that the only thing that kept those mobsters, that crowd, away from us is that we were standing there with guns.”
Meanwhile, the couple is getting support from Missouri Republicans and even President Donald Trump.
According to CBS News, Trump invited the pair to appear at a virtual campaign event, which took place last week.
Similarly, Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley last week asked the Department of Justice to investigate Gardner’s office, alleging that her actions violated the homeowners’ civil rights and constituted an abuse of power. Further, Hawley took exception to Gardner for not charging the protesters with trespassing.
And as KMOV-TV reported, Missouri Governor Mike Parson has promised to pardon the couple if they are charged with any crimes.