Mark McCloskey and Patricia McCloskey are a St. Louis couple who were seen pointing guns at protesters who were walking by their home in St. Louis, Missouri, on June 28. The husband and wife, who work together as personal injury trial lawyers, came out of their house armed to prevent protesters from walking onto their property in the Forest Park area. Video and photos of the incident went viral on Twitter.
In the videos shared online, however, it doesn’t appear that anyone walking in Sunday’s protest calling for the resignation of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson was trespassing on their palatial lawn or approached their house. While Mark McCloskey, 63, holds a large assault weapon and Patty McCloskey, 61, holds a handgun in the video, they end up pointing their weapons at each other while staring down protesters. While a video does show the protesters walking through a pedestrian gate next to signs that say “private street,” “no trespassing” and “access limited to residents,” witnesses have said the protesters were peaceful and did not approach the McCloskeys or go onto the lawn of the “Midwestern palazzo” where they live.
— Daniel Shular (@xshularx) June 29, 2020
Another video shared on Twitter that has now been made unavailable showed Patty McCloskey holding her gun straight at passing protesters, one wearing a T-shirt that read, “Hands up, don’t shoot.”
here’s what happens when you march on Portland Place in St. Louis, MO
they’re scared of their own community pic.twitter.com/Ng8qW1Pa6C
— avery (@averyrisch) June 29, 2020
The McCloskeys could not be reached for comment by Heavy. But Mark McCloskey told KSDK:
We were threatened with our lives, threatened with a house being burned down, my office building being burned down, even our dog’s life being threatened. It was, it was about as bad as it can get. I mean, those you know, I really thought it was Storming the Bastille that we would be dead and the house would be burned and there was nothing we could do about it. It was a huge and frightening crowd. And they were they broken the gate were coming at us.
Mark McCloskey told KMOV, “A mob of at least 100 smashed through the historic wrought iron gates of Portland Place, destroying them, rushed towards my home where my family was having dinner outside and put us in fear for our lives. “This is all private property. There are no public sidewalks or public streets. I was terrified that we’d be murdered within seconds, our house would be burned down, our pets would be killed. We were all alone facing an angry mob.”
JUST IN: St. Louis attorneys Mark and Patricia McCloskey release a statement, through an attorney, saying they support Black Lives Matter and they acted lawfully on their property. The couple, through their attorney, says "the agitators responsible for the trepidation were white" pic.twitter.com/4zebQqSH0y
— Rob Edwards (@RobertDEdwards) June 29, 2020
St. Louis Police have not commented about whether an investigation into the incident is ongoing or if the couple could face charges. On social media, people have called for the McCloskeys to be arrested and have directed people to make complaints to the Missouri bar. According to BuzzFeed News, a St. Louis Police report identifies the couple as the victims in the incident and the news site reports the McCloskeys called police.
“The police report states that the couple contacted police ‘when they heard a loud commotion coming from the street’ and ‘observed a large group of subjects forcefully break an iron gate marked with ‘No Trespassing’ and ‘Private Street’ signs,’ BuzzFeed wrote. “Police said the couple claimed protesters were ‘yelling obscenities and threats of harm to both victims’ and that they brought out their guns when they ‘observed multiple subjects who were armed.'” Police didn’t say in the report if officers verified whether any protesters were armed or if weapons were pointed at the McCloskeys, according to BuzzFeed News. Krewson, the St. Louis mayor who was the target of the protest hasn’t commented about the incident.
Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said in a statement an investigation into the incident is ongoing. Gardner said, ” I am alarmed at the events that occurred over the weekend, where peaceful protestors were met by guns and a violent assault. We must protect the right to peacefully protest, and any attempt to chill it through intimidation or threat of deadly force will not be tolerated.”
She added, “My office is currently working with the public and police to investigate these events. Make no mistake: we will not tolerate the use of force against those exercising their First Amendment rights, and will use the full power of Missouri law to hold people accountable.”
Here’s what you need to know about Mark and Patty McCloskey:
1. The McCloskeys Bought Their Million-Dollar Home at Portland Place in February 1988 & Were Profiled in a St.
Louis Magazine After Renovating It
St. Louis AR-15 guy is an absolute baller pic.twitter.com/RHrv3VKMEZ
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) June 29, 2020
The couple was featured in St. Louis Magazine for their impressive renovation of the famous estate in 1988. Now more than 30 years after purchasing the home, which was once owned by Edward and Anna Busch Faust — the son of a revered St. Louis restaurateur and daughter of the beer-making Busch family — they have restored the Renaissance palazzo back to its original glory.
Mark McCloskey told the magazine, “All the plumbing was made by Mott, which was the premiere manufacturer at the turn of the century, and all the door and window hardware was made by P.E. Guerin.” Patricia McCloskey noted “the glass in the windows” was from the second-floor reception hall at the 14th century Palazzo Davanzati in Florence, “and the shutters, at least the ironwork, are probably original.” The property is appraised at $1.15 million, according to St. Louis city property records.
In 1992, the couple were involved in a “brouhaha” over cohabitation rules in the Portland Place neighborhood, according to an article from The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Patty McCloskey was at the time a board member for the Portland Place homeowners’ association. She opposed a bylaw change to allow cohabitation in the HOA, which put the association in line with city law that doesn’t allow for discrimination.
Patty McCLoskey disputed claims made at the time by her opponents that she and her husband were trying to keep gay people out of the neighborhood. “This is insanity,” she told the newspaper. “It isn’t about gay-bashing. I want to enforce restrictions. … certain people on the street are renting their houses, and we couldn’t get a few of the trustees to agree to make a phone call and tell them it was inappropriate.” A neighbor, Dr. Saul Boyarsky, told the newspaper the McCloskeys were, “trying to preserve the exclusivity of the neighborhood.”
In videos on Sunday, the McCloskeys could be seen outside their million-dollar home with guns. While holding a rifle, Mark McCloskey can be heard yelling to the crowd, “Private property! Get out! Private property, get out!” Patricia McCloskey, holding a handgun, also yelled at the protesters. One person in the protest can be heard yelling back, “Calm down,” as others tell the group to keep moving and not engage with the couple. Another person can be heard saying, “Then call the f—— cops, you idiot!” and “It’s a public street.” The area where the McCloskeys live does have signs saying it is a private street. But it is not clear if Missouri law allows them to point guns at people for entering into the area.
In this livestream footage you can clearly see the STL black lives matter mob entered through the gate to a private community. This was not a public sidewalk. https://t.co/NeKHgTBWEu pic.twitter.com/UdYq3pGtlb
— Cassandra Fairbanks (@CassandraRules) June 29, 2020
Mark McCloskey told KSDK the protesters were on private property:
Everything inside the Portland Place gate is private property. There is nothing public in Portland Place. Being inside that gate is like being in my living room. There is no public anything in Portland Place. It is all private property. And you’ve got to appreciate that if there are two or three hundred people, I don’t know how many there were. We were told that 500 people showed up at the Lyda Krewson house, which is not on our street, as you know. But how many of them came through Portland Place? I don’t know. But it was a big crowd and they were aggressive, wearing body armor and screaming at us and threatening to harm us. And how they were going to be living in our house after they kill us.
He said he and his wife are “urban pioneers”:
And to call these people protesters either. I’ve lived in the City of St. Louis for 32 years. We were, you know, urban pioneers back when we bought on Portland Place in 1988. And we have done everything for 32 years to improve the neighborhood and to keep this historic neighborhood going. And it’s very frustrating to see it get targeted. And of course, we’d been told by the press and by Expect US, that they wanted to start targeting middle-class neighborhoods and upper-class neighborhoods and bring their revolution outside of the cities. And we got an email from our trustees on Thursday saying that they were going to do this on Friday. We’re very worried about it.
The full interview can be seen below:
The protesters on Sunday were not targeting the McCloskeys’ home, but were instead walking to the St. Louis mayor’s house. After Krewson listed the names and addresses of protesters looking to defund the police during a Facebook live interview, she offered a formal apology.
protest reception courtesy of the central west end. happy sunday st louis ! pic.twitter.com/ezaQcjHZOm
— torpedo johnson (@toledomccormick) June 29, 2020
Krewson said in a statement, “I would like to apologize for identifying individuals who presented letters to me at City Hall as I was answering a routine question during one of my updates earlier today. While this is public information, I did not intend to cause distress or harm to anyone. The post has been removed and again, I sincerely apologize.”
It’s a move designed to silence dissent, and it’s dangerous. #DoBetter
— Megan Ellyia Green 🌹 4 MOSenate – D5 (@MeganEllyia) June 26, 2020
However, the damage was already done, and St. Louis residents accused her of doxing protesters. She was also publicly called out by Tishaura O. Jones, the treasurer of St. Louis, and St. Louis Alderwoman Megan Ellyia Green.
On Sunday, as reported by KMOV4, around 300 protesters chanted “resign Lyda, take the cops with you,” while marching toward her home in the Central West End.
2. The Couple, Who Have Been Married Since 1985 & Run the McCloskey Law Center, Located Inside the Historic Nieman Mansion, Met While Studying at SMU Law School
As stated on their website, the McCloskeys, “have devoted their professional careers to assisting those sustaining serious traumatic brain injury, neck, back, spinal cord and other serious, disabling or fatal neurological injuries. The goal of our practice is to provide those sustaining such devastating injuries, or the survivors of those killed as a result of such devastating injuries, with meaningful compensation.
“We strive to provide the seriously injured and their survivors with a means to having as full and as comfortable a life as possible by obtaining every penny of reasonable compensation for their injuries and losses.”
They started their law firm, McCloskey, P.C., in 1994, according to Mark McCloskey’s LinkedIn profile. McCloskey writes on his LinkedIn profile:
We have focused our practice on the representation of individuals suffering brain/head injury, spinal cord injury, birth injuries, and all other serious injuries as the result of the negligence of others for over 29 years. If you have suffered devastating injury or the loss of a loved one as the result of car wrecks, airplane crash, medical errors, dangerous or defective products or machines, explosion, fire, falls, or through any other causes, let us help you put your lives back together. ‘If it wasn’t your fault, why are you paying for it?’
Mark and Patricia McCloskey have been married since 1985 and have one adult daughter, according to their website and social media profiles. They met while studying at the Southern Methodist University Law School. They both graduated from SMU Law.
Their office is located inside the historic Nieman Mansion in St. Louis’ Central West End, which the McCloskeys have also restored.
3. Mark McCloskey, Who Has Been an Attorney Since 1986, Represents a Victim of Police Brutality
Mark McCloskey graduated magna cum laude from Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1982, where he studied sociology, criminal justice and psychology before attending the Southern Methodist University of Law in 1985. He is a Missouri native and graduated from Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School in Ladue, Missouri, in 1975, according to his Facebook profile.
On his law firm’s website, McCloskey is described as, “an AV rated attorney who has been nominated for dozens of awards and honors and has been voted by his peers for memberships to many exclusive ‘top rated lawyer’ and ‘multimillion dollar lawyer’ associations throughout the country.” The website also notes McCloskey has appeared on in the media, including KSDK in St. Louis and Fox News. The website states, “several of his cases have been cited in national legal publications as the highest verdicts recovered in the country for those particular injuries.” McCloskey’s profile also says:
Since 1986, he has exclusively represented individuals seriously injured as a result of accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, and the negligence of others. For the past 21 years, his firm has concentrated on the representation of people injured or killed through traumatic brain injuries, neck, back or other significant neurological or orthopedic injury.
Mark T. McCloskey is licensed to practice law in the state and federal courts of Missouri, Illinois, Texas and the Federal Courts of Nebraska. Additionally, he has represented individuals injured through medical malpractice, dangerous products, automobiles, cars, motorcycles, boats, defective hand guns, airplane crashes, explosions, electrocution, falls, assaults, rapes, poisoning, fires, inadequate security, premises liability, dram shop liability (serving intoxicating patrons), excessive force by police, construction accidents, and negligent maintenance of premises (including retail establishments, parking lots, government property, homes, schools, playgrounds, apartments, commercial operations, parks and recreational facilities) for the past 30 years and has filed and tried personal injury lawsuits in over 28 states.
McCloskey is representing a victim of police brutality in a lawsuit against a Missouri police department and officer. According to the Associated Press, David Maas, a Woodson Terrace Police officer at the time, was caught on dashcam video appearing to assault a man and was indicted on a federal charge in March.
For the incident, which took place in April 2019, Maas was charged with one count of deprivation fo rights under color of law, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. The victim was identified by the initials, “I.F.,” which matches the 2019 civil lawsuit brought by Isaiah Forman, the AP reported. Maas is accused of kicking Forman, who is black, while he was surrendering.
“I’m glad that the law enforcement agencies are subject to the same standard as everybody else,” Mark McCloskey, said to the AP.
On his Facebook page, McCloskey defended the jury’s decision in the 2011 case against Casey Anthony, who was accused of murder in the death of her daughter. McCloskey wrote on Facebook after the controversial 2011 verdict, “thank God that the jury saw through all the hype and found there WAS in fact not enough evidence on this case. Stop your crazy RAILING after you’ve spent so much time trying this girl in the media.”
In 1993, Mark McCloskey wrote a letter to the editor about crime in St. Louis. He wrote, “the reason high-income people leave the city, and why I can’t talk my friends into moving in, is crime. Why live where your life is at risk, where you are affronted by thugs, bums, drug addicts and punks when you can afford not to. What St. Louis can do without are the murderers, beggars, drug addicts and street corner drunks. St. Louis needs more people of substance and fewer of subsistence.”
4. Patricia McCloskey Is Originally From Pennsylvania & Studied at Penn State Before Attending SMU Law School
According to her Facebook profile, Patricia Novak McCloskey is a native of Industry, Pennsylvania, where she graduated from Western Beaver High School in 1977. McCloskey then studied at Penn State University, graduating in 1982 with a degree in labor studies and a minor in Spanish. She, like her husband, attended SMU Law School in Dallas, graduating in 1986.
According to their law firm’s website, “Patricia N. McCloskey is a Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude graduate of Pennsylvania State University, graduating first in her class and with the highest cumulative average in her department in forty-seven years. Patricia N. McCloskey is also a graduate of Southern Methodist University School of Law, which she completed while simultaneously working full time and still graduating in the top quarter of her class.” The website adds:
After several years working with a major law firm in St. Louis on the defense side, she moved to representation of the injured. Since 1994, she has exclusively represented those injured by the negligence of others with Mark McCloskey. She has acted in various roles in the community including being a past Board Member of Therapeutic Horsemanship, a law student mentor, a member of the Missouri Bar Association ethical review panel and a St. Louis city committee woman.
Patricia McCloskey has extensive trial experience in personal injury and wrongful death cases arising out of all aspects of negligence, including traumatic brain injury, products liability and product defect, medical malpractice, wrongful death, neck, back and spinal cord injuries, motor vehicle collisions, motorcycle collisions, airplane crashes, and many others as set forth further
Patricia McCloskey is licensed to practice law in Missouri and Illinois, according to the law firm’s website.
5. The McCloskeys Were Given the Meme Treatment on Twitter
America getting too wild. Ken with the AR-15 and Karen having no clue how to hold a gun. pic.twitter.com/ekOJDTwSqT
— lopeta profiilini tarkasteleminen (@joeffss) June 29, 2020
Thousands of online users slammed Mark and Patty McCloskey not only for pulling out firearms against peaceful protesters but for the way they incorrectly held their weapons, for running out of their home barefoot, for Mark’s salmon-colored shirt, and more.
This Mr. & Mrs. Smith sequel looks terrible pic.twitter.com/bMICfpmLX0
— Jess Dweck (@TheDweck) June 29, 2020
— #TrumpChats (@TrumpChatting) June 29, 2020
Second law of universal gun safety is a thing.
I hope her neighbors check in on her periodically because she lives with a dude who aimed an #AR15 directly at her chest while ostensibly holding trespassers at bay. Sleep with one eye open, St Louis Gun Lady. pic.twitter.com/fZAyOiy3G0
— Anita Dalton (@oddeverything) June 29, 2020
While some Twitter members remade popular movie posters to feature the personal injury lawyers, others wondered if the trial attorneys broke the law by pointing their weapons at the protesters. Don Calloway tweeted, “A fellow lawyer from Missouri, a guy I know named Mark McCloskey committed an assault tonight in STL by pointing his AR 15 at peaceful protesters. He should be arrested and charged with assault immediately. The MO Bar should revoke their licenses.”
The McCloskeys also had their share of supporters online. One man tweeted, “The same people destroying private property and threatening residents wonder why residents are coming out of their homes with AR-15’s…? Lmao.” Ryan Fournier, founder of Students for Trump, tweeted, “God Bless the couple in St. Louis who stood their ground and defended their property. God Bless the Second Amendment.”
Defend his family. His home. His livelihood. Pure speculation, but I would guess some of these protesters are jobless bums trying to act like they own everything. This couple most likely earned their home and they should have every right to defend it from being destroyed. #AR15 https://t.co/g7cEIQiah0
— Gireo (@Gireo) June 29, 2020
While some on social media have claimed the McCloskeys are registered Democrats, it was not immediately possible to determine whether the couple are actually registered as Democrats or if they are registered Republicans. But Federal Election Commission records show Mark McCloskey has contributed thousands of dollars to the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, the Republican National Committee and Donald J. Trump for President Inc. He also made contributions to a Republican congressional candidate, Bill Phelps, in 1996, and to the Bush-Quayle campaign in 1992.
Patricia McCloskey also made a contribution to the RNC in 2018 and to a Republican Senate dinner in 1988.