PHILADELPHIA (AP) — U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon was carjacked at gunpoint by two men in a south Philadelphia park but wasn’t injured, police and her office said.
Scanlon, D-Pa., was walking to her parked vehicle after a meeting in FDR park shortly before 3 p.m. Wednesday when two armed men demanded her keys, police said. She handed them over and one drove off in the blue 2017 Acura MDX while the other followed in a dark-colored sport utility vehicle, police said.
Scanlon was physically unharmed, said her communications director, Lauren Cox. Police said several personal and work items were also taken with the vehicle. WPVI-TV reported that the congresswoman’s personal and government cellphones were inside, along with her purse and identification.
Police said they were working with the FBI, which is taking the lead of the investigation.
“I am relieved that Congresswoman Scanlon was not physically injured, and my thoughts are with her during this difficult time,” Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a statement, vowing that police would provide any support needed.
Scanlon, whose district includes portions of south Philadelphia and neighboring Delaware County, was among elected officials meeting to discuss constituent concerns around ongoing development plans for the park, The Philadelphia Inquirer said.
Her office said Scanlon expressed gratitude to city police for their quick response and to her local police department and the Sergeant at Arms in Washington, D.C., for working with Philadelphia police “to ensure her continued safety.”
Mayor Jim Kenney said he was “appalled to learn of this violent crime” against the congresswoman, whom he described as his friend and colleague.
“My thoughts are with her during what I’m sure is a traumatic time,” he said in a Twitter post.
“Everyone deserves to feel safe in our city, and sadly that hasn’t always been the case this year,” Kenney said. “It’s disheartening and infuriating that criminals feel emboldened to commit such a reckless crime in the middle of the day in what should be a place of peace—one of our city’s parks.”