A St. Louis couple who gained notoriety last month for brandishing guns at Black Lives Matters protesters passing in front of their mansion have been reported to have previously clashed with a synagogue next door.
According an extensive report about Patricia and Mark McCloskey’s in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the Jewish Central Reform Congregation in the Missouri city has been a target of the couple’s many legal battles with neighbors and acquaintances.
Mark McCloskey reportedly “destroyed beehives placed just outside of the mansion’s northern wall by the neighboring Jewish Central Reform Congregation and left a note saying he did it, and if the mess wasn’t cleaned up quickly he would seek a restraining order and attorneys fees.”
“The congregation had planned to harvest the honey and pick apples from trees on its property for Rosh Hashanah,” the report said.
“The children were crying in school… It was part of our curriculum,” Rabbi Susan Talve of the congregation told the local paper.
The report included a photo of the note threatening legal action that McCloskey left after destroying the hives.
McCloskey has previously sued his employer, his neighbors and his siblings, according to the story.
Central Reform Congregation has played a role in previous protests over racial injustice.
In 2014, the synagogue offered itself as a sanctuary for people protesting the police killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed Black 18-year-old, in nearby Ferguson, Missouri. The extended protests in Ferguson represented a breakout moment for the then-inchoate Black Lives Matter movement.
When protests erupted after an officer was acquitted of murder charges in a different case in 2017, the synagogue again offered refuge to protesters.