A 19-year-old from Wilmington, Del., was charged in federal court Thursday with participating in Wednesday’s gunpoint carjacking of U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon in FDR Park.
Josiah Brown pleaded not guilty during a virtual arraignment to charges including carjacking and firearms violations. He will be held in custody as his case moves forward.
Brown is accused of holding Scanlon at gunpoint in the park Wednesday afternoon and stealing items including her purse, cellphone, and car keys. He and another man — whom police have not identified — are accused of driving off with Scanlon’s 2017 Acura MDX after the robbery. Scanlon was not physically injured.
About six hours later, police said, Brown was taken into custody along with four other teens in Newark, Del., when state troopers and federal agents saw Scanlon’s car on the 2800 block of Fashion Center Boulevard. It was initially unoccupied, police said, but officers watched it and eventually saw the teens getting inside. The teens tried to flee as police approached the car, officials said, but all were eventually arrested.
Investigators believe that Brown “was involved in the armed carjacking in Philadelphia,” police said. The criminal complaint detailing his involvement was not immediately available.
Three of the other teens — boys ages 13 and 16, as well as a 14-year-old girl — were charged in Delaware with receiving stolen property, police said. Each was released to their guardians on $1,500 unsecured bond, police said.
A 15-year-old boy was charged with receiving stolen property, resisting arrest, and two counts of criminal mischief, police said. Police said he was taken to the New Castle County Detention Center on $3,500 bond.
Authorities did not identify any of the younger teens, but said all were from Wilmington.
Scanlon was carjacked shortly after she and other elected officials met to discuss constituent concerns about development plans for the park. As Scanlon walked back to her car alone on the 1900 block of Pattison Avenue around 2:45 p.m., she was approached by two armed men who demanded her belongings, according to her office and police.
She handed over her purse, personal cell phone, federal government cell phone, and personal ID. One of the suspects then drove away in her 2017 Acura MDX, while the other followed in what police described as a dark-colored SUV.
Authorities have not provided further details about the second person who may have committed the carjacking with Brown.
Brown was a suspect in several other incidents up and down the I-95 corridor in recent years, according to police and court records.
His fingerprints matched those identified by police in a string of vehicle break-ins in November 2020 in Kennett Square, police said. Authorities in Chester County issued an arrest warrant for Brown in March 2021 for charges including receiving stolen property and theft from a motor vehicle.
Ten days after that warrant was issued, Brown was picked up by sheriffs deputies in Cecil County, Md., after they responded to reports of car thefts and gunshots. The officers later discovered Brown and six juveniles, at least two of whom were also from Wilmington, inside a vehicle that had been reported stolen in New Jersey.
Police said the vehicle appeared to have been recently struck by gunfire, and two teenage girls inside were suffering from gunshot wounds. They were both hospitalized.
Brown, meanwhile, was arrested on the outstanding warrant from Chester County. He had been scheduled to stand trial on those charges this month, but his trial was delayed. Court dockets do not say why.
This is a developing story that will be updated.