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Suspect charged in Philadelphia carjacking of Democratic congresswoman

One suspect has been charged in connection with the carjacking of Pennsylvania Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D), who was held at gunpoint on Wednesday when her car was taken in Philadelphia.

Authorities arrested 19-year-old Josiah Brown on Thursday on charges of carjacking and using a firearm during a violent crime. Police were able to track Scanlon’s car to New Castle, Del., where they arrested five people who were inside the vehicle.

Brown, who comes from Wilmington, Del., was found to have the keys to Scanlon’s blue 2017 Acura MDX in his possession, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The four other individuals who were arrested were all juveniles between the ages of 13 and 16.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Brown admitted to holding a real but unloaded gun up to Scanlon. Court documents show that Brown is a suspect in multiple other incidents, many having to do with car break-ins. Earlier this year, Brown was discovered by authorities inside a vehicle that had been reported missing in New Jersey, the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office said.

Scanlon was leaving a meeting near FDR Park in Philadelphia on Wednesday when a dark SUV pulled up close to her and two men got out. One man had a gun and demanded her car keys, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. After Scanlon handed her keys over, the two men allegedly took her car and drove off, with a third man following in the SUV.

The suspects were described as two Black men between the ages of 20 and 30 by authorities. Scanlon was unharmed in the incident.

“Armed carjacking is a serious federal crime. There have been a rash of violent crimes like this recently, and while there were national security implications to this particular incident, we are always working collaboratively with our local partners to evaluate if cases should be taken federally,” U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams said in a statement.

During a press briefing on Thursday, Scanlon expressed gratitude that neither she nor members of her staff or anyone else at the park was harmed in the incident.

Scanlon said that she had just finished walking through the park with city officials to discuss ways to make it more accessible and to address environmental issues when the carjacking occurred. 

“The fact is this type of crime can happen anywhere and to anyone. Yesterday it happened to me. Sadly, we know over the course of the last year or two, especially since the onset of the pandemic, we’ve seen a spike in certain crimes across the country, including gun violence and carjacking,” Scanlon said. 

“No one should have to experience this kind of lawlessness, and I’m going to continue to push for resources and policies that help reduce violence in our communities all across the country.”

Scanlon also shared that President Biden had called her, mostly as a personal call to check on her, but the congresswoman said that they also discussed ongoing frustrations surrounding the inability to pass common sense gun laws.

— Updated at 8:24 p.m.

Tags Carjacking Delaware Joe Biden Mary Gay Scanlon Mary Gay Scanlon Pennsylvania

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