Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon was carjacked at gunpoint Wednesday afternoon as she returned to her vehicle following an event in a South Philadelphia park.
A spokesperson for the Democratic congresswoman from Pennsylvania said in a statement that the carjacking occurred at around 2:45 p.m. and that Scanlon was “physically unharmed.”
“She thanks the Philadelphia Police Department for their swift response, and appreciates the efforts of both the Sergeant at Arms in D.C. and her local police department for coordinating with Philly PD to ensure her continued safety,” the statement continued.
WPVI, citing police, reported that Scanlon was walking to her vehicle after touring FDR Park when she was approached by two men in a dark-colored SUV.
The men demanded the keys to Scanlon’s vehicle, which she handed over. The station reported that Scanlon’s personal cell phone, government-issued cell phone, purse and identification were inside the vehicle.
“I’m appalled to learn of this violent crime that was perpetrated against my friend and colleague, Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney wrote on Twitter. “My thoughts are with her during what I’m sure is a traumatic time.”
“Everyone deserves to feel safe in our city, and sadly that hasn’t always been the case this year,” Kenney added. “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.”
Scanlon, 62, was first elected to Congress in 2018 and represents a district that includes suburban Delaware County and parts of Chester County and Montgomery County as well as parts of southern Philadelphia itself.
The City of Brotherly Love is currently going through one of the most violent years in its history. Earlier this week, police confirmed that there had been 540 homicides since the beginning of 2021, far outstripping its record of 500 set in 1990.
Scanlon is far from the first carjacking victim in Philadelphia this year, with police reporting 720 such crimes as of Dec. 9, compared to 409 last year and 225 in 2019.