One of the more peculiar distractions from last summer’s protests against police brutality was found in St. Louis, Missouri, where a pair of barefoot lawyers threatened demonstrators walking past their five-level mansion with a long rifle and a handgun. For the menacing act, Mark and Patricia McCloskey were eventually indicted on felony charges of unlawful use of a weapon and tampering with evidence; prosecutors allege that the pistol was “altered” before it was handed over.
On Tuesday, a little less than a year after the confrontation, the couple pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges and agreed to hand over the weapons used in the standoff — though they will not lose their licenses to carry other weapons. Patricia McCloskey pleaded to misdemeanor harassment and was fined $2,000, while Mark McCloskey pleaded to fourth-degree assault and was fined $740.
The guilty pleas did not mean the pair were contrite. When the judge asked Mark McCloskey if he knew that his actions put people at risk, he replied, “I sure did your honor.” Outside the courtroom, he added that he would “do it again” and that “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.”
A sincere apology from the McCloskeys was always doubtful, considering that the pair have leveraged their 15 minutes of infamy into something of a career in conservative circles. (Serious consequences were also unlikely: Missouri Governor Mike Parson said he would “certainly” pardon them upon a conviction.) Since pointing guns at demonstrators on June 28 last year, the pair appeared at the 2020 Republican National Convention; according to their attorney, they are contacted by former president Donald Trump “semi-frequently.” In May, Mark McCloskey announced a long-shot Senate run for Missouri’s open seat in 2022. “I’ve always been a Republican, but I have never been a politician,” he told Tucker Carlson last month. “But you know, God came knocking on my door last summer disguised as an angry mob, and it really did wake me up.”