Mark McCloskey describes clash with protesters: 'It was a very, very frightening experience'

The St. Louis attorney says he and his wife had 'every right' to defend their home

Reports of the confrontation between Mark and Patricia McCloskey and a wave of St. Louis, Mo.protesters are missing the full picture, Mark McCloskey stated Wednesday.

In an interview on "America's Newsroom," McCloskey said the couple had just returned home and were about to start preparing dinner on their patio when they heard protests getting "louder and louder" as they approached their neighborhood.

ST. LOUIS' TOP PROSECUTOR SAYS SHE'S CHARGING COUPLE WHO FLASHED GUNS AT CROWD MARCHING TO MAYOR'S HOME

"Then all of a sudden, Kingshighway fills from wall-to-wall – more than 100 feet wide [and] completely filled with people. And, as this column of people moves forward north on Kingshighway, we look at each other," he recalled. "There's no police; our private security has disappeared. There’s nobody there and we are thinking, ‘Oh my God, what if they decide to come through the gate?’"

Then, the gate to his community "bursts open" after being "smashed down," and stumbling, shouting protesters "poured in."

"It was a very, very frightening experience. As soon as I said the words ‘private property,’ it seemed to enrage them. As if that phrase ‘private property’ was a fire for them. I ran in, got my rifle. I started standing on the wing of the patio saying, ‘Private property! Get out! Get out of here!’ They kept pouring in. That seemed to make them want to come forward," McCloskey remembered.

While Mark McCloskey was standing on the wing of his patio, Patricia McCloskey went inside to dial 911. However, as she did so, she saw the crowd approaching the front door of their home, grabbed her gun, and walked out into the front yard to "keep them at bay."

"I am standing up behind the hedge on the wall of the patio and all of a sudden I see her out there in the front yard thinking, ‘Holy shoot, you know, she's now surrounded by these folks. I’ve got to get out there and help her.’ And so, I go out in the front yard, too," McCloskey said. "And, you know, everybody plays that same 32-second clip that’s been put out there. This event lasted 12 or 15 minutes."

"The first onslaught is never played on television by any of the news media. But, I have got to tell you, when that gate burst open and people started pouring in, it was a terrifying event," he remarked.

A couple draws their firearms on protestors as they enter their neighbourhood during a protest against St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S. June 28, 2020, in this picture grab obtained from a social media video. Daniel Shular/via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. - RC2ZIH97RMZB

A couple draws their firearms on protestors as they enter their neighbourhood during a protest against St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S. June 28, 2020, in this picture grab obtained from a social media video. Daniel Shular/via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. - RC2ZIH97RMZB

McCloskey also says outlets' accounts of the day incorrectly report that peaceful protesters were heading to Mayor Lyda Krewson's house. He said "that is absolutely not correct" because the path to reach Krewson's house is "three blocks north and about a half a mile west."

As the protesters hurled insults at the McCloskeys – though much of it, he said, was lost in the din – photos and videos were being taken, now leading to the charges brought against the McCloskeys by Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner.

Gardner charged the couple – both personal injury attorneys in their 60s – with exhibiting "unlawful" conduct by waving their guns "in a threatening manner."

"It is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner – that is unlawful in the city of St. Louis," she said in a statement Monday. She added that she was recommending a diversion program as an alternative to jail.

However, the city's top prosecutor likely will not have a case as both Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Gov. Mike Parsons have voiced their support for the defendants, citing the state's castle doctrine and the Second Amendment.

"You know, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. We had every right to do what we did," McCloskey said.

"Every single person in my neighborhood was trespassing. All those people were trespassing. They’re admitted criminals. None of those people have been charged with anything. We are the only people [who] have been charged," he noted.

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"We get charged with felonies for doing nothing more than defending ourselves. If we get convicted of felonies, we can't own weapons again. We can’t practice law. It takes our livelihood away," he told host Martha MacCallum.

"And so, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the circuit attorney has made the decision that her job – instead of protecting law-abiding citizens from criminals – is to protect the criminals from law-abiding citizens," McCloskey concluded. "There's just something fundamentally wrong with that."