23-year-old man in custody after attack on elderly woman

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Police have charged 23-year-old Palace Bells with Aggravated Rape, Evading Arrest for attacking an elderly woman.

"Maximum punishment. No! They need to execute him. You know how they used to do in the old days? Put him in the electric chair. He needs to be fried for that."

That's what several women said should happen to the person that attacked and possibly sexually assaulted an 81-year-old woman in the parking lot of the Greater Imani Church Wednesday morning.

"That's somebody's grandmother! Why would they do that?" they asked.

Dr. Bill Adkins with Greater Imani said his security team is top notch.

"We've had problems with vagrants, homeless people setting up camps in these woods. We have had to- I don't like the term, "run them out," but we have asked them to leave the property before," he told WREG.

The elderly woman was not a member of the congregation, but likes to walk in the church's parking lot before security arrives.

"She comes before church hours. She comes early in the morning, 7:00 a.m., and she comes after church hours," said Wilder Lee, the head of security.

About two hours after the attack, police found a suspect in the victim's car at Stonegate Apartments.

They surrounded him and took him into custody.

Police told WREG the 81-year-old is expected to be okay physically.

Church members said they pray she recovers emotionally as well.

"We're so sad, because all of us had come to recognize her and see her. This was just her place where she wanted to come walk and exercise," one member told us.

"You're out here assaulting someone's grandmama. That could have been your grandmama. How would you have felt if that was your grandmother?" another asked.

Bells is being held without bond and will go before a judge Thursday morning.