By Sandy Malone and Christopher Berg
St. Louis, MO – Missouri Governor Mike Parson said Friday that he is ready to pardon two attorneys who displayed their guns while defending their home from a mob of protesters in June.
Governor Parson told a radio station that he thinks a pardon is “exactly what would happen” if the couple is charged, according to Fox News.
“I don’t think they’re going to spend any time in jail,” the governor said.
No charges have been filed against Mark and Patricia McCloskey at this time, but a search warrant was executed at their home July 10.
The warrant is an indication that St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner is looking to file criminal charges against the couple.
The initial incident occurred June 28 as Mark said he was having dinner outside with his family at about 7:30 p.m. when they heard the mob approaching, KMOV reported.
The McCloskeys live in a gated community well marked with “Private Street” and “No Trespassing” signs.
The incident occurred after a month of protests and rioting in the city where four St. Louis police officers were shot and buildings were torched and looted.
But protesters were angry with St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson for releasing the names of activists who had sent her letters demanding she defund the police department, and they were trying to make their way to her home to protest, KMOV reported.
Mark McCloskey later told CNN that it’s impossible to reach the mayor’s house from their street.
“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,” Mark said.
So he and his wife grabbed weapons and went to defend their home and property, KMOV reported.
Videos posted to social media by participants showed protesters breaking the locked wrought iron pedestrian gate into the tony private neighborhood and marching right in.
“This is all private property,” McCloskey explained to KMOV. “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.”
“[They said] that they were going to kill us,” Patricia told Fox News. “They were going to come in there. They were going to burn down the house. They were going to be living in our house after I was dead, and they were pointing to different rooms and said, ‘That’s going to be my bedroom and that’s going to be the living room and I’m going to be taking a shower in that room.'”
Video showed the McCloskeys standing on his porch facing off with protests, a semi-automatic rifle and a pistol.
The video showed Mark repeatedly told the protesters to get out and that they were trespassing on private property.
Neither of the McCloskeys appeared to be concerned about what direction their weapons were pointing, the video showed.
In the video, protesters reacted with shock to the sight of the armed couple and others can be heard encouraging them to keep walking and not engage.
However, some of the protesters stayed in front of the McCloskeys home antagonizing and challenging them, yelling obscenities and threats, the video showed.
The group eventually made its way down the street.
They painted the word “resign” in giant letters on the street in front of they mayor’s home.
Afterwards the McCloskeys filed a police report about the trespassing incident with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the Associated Press reported.
They told officers that some of the protesters were armed.
The McCloskeys have a personal injury law practice together that is also based in the Central West End, KMOV reported.
The home which they planned to defend is valued at $1.15 million and was featured in St. Louis Magazine, the Associated Press reported.
Police were investigating the incident as trespassing and assault by intimidation against the McCloskeys.
Gardner said her office was investigating the incident and seemed more intent on investigating the McCloskeys than the protesters who were trespassing and destroyed the gate.
“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,” Gardner tweeted.