St. Louis police investigating a confrontation caught on cellphone video of white neighbors of Mayor Lyda Krewson pointing guns at protesters marching by their mansion. https://t.co/t9GKxpzRGW pic.twitter.com/lVeDYYLMFQ— ABC News (@ABC) June 29, 2020
Media outlets are labeling the event as white couple holds arms against black protesters; the McCloskeys say they were defending their property as Black Lives Matters demonstrators were ignoring the no trespassing signs in the gated community.
"It was like the storming of the Bastille, the gate came down and a large crowd of angry, aggressive people poured through," McCloskey said in an interview. "I was terrified that we’d be murdered within seconds. Our house would be burned down, our pets would be killed."
McCloskey gave an interview to 5 On Your Side anchor Anne Allred:
Below is the transcript of the interview Monday morning:
Anne Allred: Tell me what happened last night.
Mark McCloskey: We came back to the house. I don't know what time it is, I've been up ever since. I'm a little, I'm a little blurry, but we were preparing dinner. We went out to the east patio, open porch that faces Kingshighway on one side and Portland Place Drive on the south, and we're sitting down for dinner. We heard all this stuff going on down on Maryland Plaza. And then the mob started to move up Kingshighway, but it got parallel with the Kingshighway gate on Portland Place.
Somebody forced the gate, and I stood up and announced that this is private property. Go back. I can't remember in detail anymore. I went inside, I got a rifle. And when they ... because as soon as I said this is private property, those words enraged the crowd. Horde, absolute horde came through the now smashed down gates coming right at the house. My house, my east patio was 40 feet from Portland Place Drive. And these people were right up in my face, scared to death. And then, I stood out there. The only thing we said is this is private property. Go back. Private property. Leave now.
At that point, everybody got enraged. There were people wearing body armor. One person pulled out some loaded pistol magazine and clicked them together and said that you were next. 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.
Allred: There have been some reports on Twitter and people who say they were there. It says they are saying the gate was already broken.
McCloskey: Yes. That is nonsense. Absolute nonsense. The gate was up, broken. The gate was broken physically in half. Our trustees on Portland Place came out later in the night and chained it all up with an automotive tow chain it looks like. But no, you can talk to the trustees on Portland Place. The gate was not broken in half and laying on the ground one second before they came in the storm.
Allred: Were the protesters on your private property at any point?
McCloskey: 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.
Allred: And what has happened since last night, and those images exploded online?
McCloskey: Well, I've had to turn the phones off in my office, so I had to come over here last night and have the office boarded up because we're getting threats against the building and everybody. It is interesting to me that the very people that are asking the mayor to resign for 'doxxing' people have now put all of my information all over the web, everywhere in the world. Is there some hypocrisy there? You know, maybe I'm maybe I'm missing something. But we've had to turn off our telephones here at the office because all my lines have been going continuously since I got here at 10:30 last night. I am getting thousands of emails. I going to have to turn off my website. And it's all it's been both threatening and encouraging because of the number of people who have voiced their support. But there's also been an awful lot of people who have the very direct threats of violence against me and my family.
Allred: And you said you've received death threats?
McCloskey: Oh, God, yes. The death threats started within minutes. I mean, I don't know how long this whole event started. But I'll bet we got our first e-maildeath threats before the mob moved on from Portland Place.
Allred: When you see the images online of you and your wife on the patio, armed now after the fact. What do you think?
McCloskey: Well, you know, we were always obviously upset. My wife doesn't know anything about guns, but she knows about being scared. And she grabbed a pistol and I had a rifle, and I was very, very careful I didn't point the rifle at anybody.