ST. LOUIS (ChurchMilitant.com) - Only after local news aired the confession did a controversial prosecutor pursue criminal charges against the assailant of a man defending a prominent statue of St. Louis.
Terrence Page was caught on tape sucker-punching a man at a prayer vigil supporting the city's namesake statue in St. Louis, Missouri — and was shown confessing to the crime. But more than two weeks passed until Kim Gardner, the city's chief prosecutor, filed assault charges against him.
Page committed the crime on June 27 but was charged Tuesday with four counts of fourth-degree assault.
In an interview with local CBS investigator Lauren Trager, Page tried to justify his attack on St. Louis' defender.
"They're not protesting," Page claimed. "They're trying to instill fear. You have to confront them in that manner because they don't understand anything else. You can't reason with them or have a rational dialogue because the hate is just too deep for them."
Page became convinced that those who were prayerfully supporting the statue were somehow white nationalists. The suggestion that white nationalists would be present at the prayer vigil was floated by Muslim activist Umar Lee after he petitioned to have the St. Louis statue removed and the city's named changed.
Following Lee's petition, The Gateway Pundit founder Jim Hoft organized the prayer rally for June 27 where the assault occurred. Lee then organized a counterprotest, inciting his Twitter followers with the claim that white nationalists would be coming to town, likening it to a 2017 incident that occurred in Charlottesville.
With the pump primed, Page spotted a white man with a bald head at the prayer vigil and attacked him.
"Are you a skinhead? You look like a skinhead," cried Page.
Then he threw the initial punch. Another man who tried to subdue Page was immediately surrounded by protesters who begin to beat him. Page then chased the original victim, brandishing a spear-like stick.
The city's prosecutor, Gardner, took two weeks to charge Page with assault, even though the initial incident and his subsequent confession had been reported by local news.
Gardner is the same prosecutor who recently served a search warrant on St. Louis lawyers Mark and Patricia McCloskey and seized the weapons they used to defend their property on the evening of June 28 when protestors broke through the gate of their private street and verbally threatened them and their home.
Gardner is also the prosecutor behind former Missouri governor Eric Greitens' 2018 resignation. Greitens was attacked on two fronts. He was accused of blackmailing a woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair; plus, there were charges of campaign violations. Greitens was cleared of the campaign charges, and the blackmail charges were dropped amid accusations that a private investigator Gardner hired in connection with the case committed perjury. Greitens' defense attorneys also were threatening to call Gardner as a witness.
Less well known is Gardner's use of her office against pro-life sidewalk counselor John Ryan. On New Year's Eve in 2016, a Planned Parenthood employee falsely accused the veteran pro-life sidewalk counselor of making a bomb threat. Gardner never searched his home for evidence of the crime but threw him in jail. When a St. Louis grand jury failed to indict Ryan on the felony charge, Gardner reduced the charges and continued her pursuit.
After deliberating about an hour, a jury found Ryan not guilty. In a statement to the press, Ryan took aim at Gardner: "Planned Parenthood and prosecutor Kim Gardner's office branded me a felony terrorist 17 months ago, and that is permanently imprinted on the internet forever."
Ryan is suing the former Planned Parenthood employee who lied in civil court.
The incident and Gardner's involvement is considered suspect because at the time of the false bomb threat, Planned Parenthood was lobbying for a city ordinance to ban pro-life supporters from entering a "buffer zone" outside the facility. Gardner is also on record refusing to enforce Missouri's fetal heartbeat legislation. The state's only remaining abortion provider is located in Gardner's jurisdiction.
The embattled prosecutor is facing a tough re-election campaign. The Democrat primary is coming up Aug. 4, when she will face veteran prosecutor Mary Pat Carl.
If Gardner gets past Carl, she will then face Republican candidate Daniel Zdrodowski, the attorney representing the man Terrance Page assaulted.