PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon spoke out Thursday just one day after she was carjacked at gunpoint in Philadelphia’s FDR Park. Eyewitness News on Thursday night spoke with the parents of Josiah Brown, the 19-year-old man who’s now facing federal charges in the crime.
His father expressed his sympathies to the congressmember over what happened. He says he isn’t making any excuses, but he’s having a hard time getting in touch with his son.READ MORE: Social Media Photo Of Student With BB Gun Led To Academy Park High School Lockdown, Delaware County DA Says
“Two people got out of the car and approached us with guns, and one of them said give me the keys,” Scanlon said.
For the first time since it happened, we are hearing not only from Scanlon but the relatives of Brown, the man accused of carjacking her at gunpoint.
“He made a lot of bad decisions, but this right here, in my heart, I don’t think my son committed this crime,” Brown’s father said.
Where did his father think he was Wednesday?
“I believed that he was with his two children, his two sons,” his father said.
The father and stepmother, who asked not to be named, say the armed carjacking that unfolded at FDR Park Wednesday afternoon doesn’t fit Brown’s past charges. Those range from theft from a motor vehicle to receiving stolen property.
“If they believe that to be so, we just want that timeframe and how they came to that conclusion,” Brown’s stepmother said.READ MORE: Hacker Stole Jefferson Health Patients' Billing Information In November Data Breach
According to court documents, federal investigators say Brown and at least two others were driving around Philadelphia and decided to steal a car. They saw Scanlon and another person walking toward her car.
Scanlon said a car pulled up and blocked her in. Two people with guns got out and demanded her keys.
“I was scared that someone would do something even more stupid than trying to steal a car,” Scanlon said.
Scanlon’s car was found Wednesday night in Newark near Christiana Mall.
According to court documents, Brown admitted to federal investigators that he pointed a gun at the congressmember’s chest and even wrote a letter apologizing.
“I haven’t seen this letter, and I am too sorry that he pointed the gun at am,” Scanlon said.
Scanlon hopes the teens can learn from their mistakes, and she called out people politicizing this moment.
“Pretty despicable,” Scanlon said. “I wish they rather focus on the fact that we can prevent gun violence with common-sense gun safety measures.”MORE NEWS: Philadelphia Postponing COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate For City Workers Again
Officials also arrested and charged four minors — 13, 14, 15, and 16 years old — with being in a stolen vehicle. The FBI Task Force says they were able to track the car to Delaware using a GPS.