New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson had to fend off a man after he barged into her car while she was in it and attempted to steal the vehicle, per a report from NOLA.com. The man fled the scene when Benson screamed at him to get out. Investigators are currently looking for the suspect.
When police released information about the crime, Benson wasn't identified by name. However, Saints and Pelicans spokesperson Greg Bensel confirmed to NOLA.com Benson was a victim of attempted auto theft. It was reported a man emerged from a white Nissan Titan, which was parked right next to Benson's car. The man then entered Benson's vehicle before he got back into the Titan and fled. This incident happened on Oct. 10.
"While she was very shaken at the time, she was unharmed and is doing fine," Bensel said in a statement Friday. "She wanted to send her sincere gratitude to the men and women of the New Orleans Police Department that responded so quickly and professionally."
Benson, 73, Became the principal owner of the Saints and Pelicans when her husband, Tom Benson, died in 2018. With the NBA season over, Benson focuses on the Saints and is looking to host fans soon. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell has declined the team of having fans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We need to help flatten this curve and make a difference," Benson said on the Pelicans Podcast back in March. "Let’s work together to beat this virus. Practice social distancing. I really miss everyone. I want everyone to stay safe. And I want to see all of them at the games again soon." Benson went on to say she misses the fans and is looking forward to seeing everyone again once it's over.
"Soon, this is going to be marked as another challenge we overcame, and we'll look back proudly at how we handled it with grace," Benson said. "We’re part of the social fabric of New Orleans. We can and will handle all these challenges. I just miss all our fans. I can't wait for both seasons to start up again." Benson is one of the 10 female owners in the NFL. Her net worth is set at $3.3 billion.