Relatives say man charged in brutal attack on elderly woman has a troubled past

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A Memphis man has been charged in a brutal attack on an elderly woman.

Allen Bennett, 19, was charged with two counts of especially aggravated robbery, especially aggravated burglary, criminal trespass, evading arrest and unlawful possession of a weapon.

Police said Blanche Smith, 88, was letting out her dog Tuesday when she was attacked in broad daylight.

Investigators said the attacker forced his way inside her home, stabbed  her several times and then took off with her car and cell phone.

Investigators said Bennett became a suspect after his own girlfriend told police he called her from the victim's cell phone right after the robbery and she had seen Bennett driving the stolen Ford Focus.

Police said they spotted Bennett in the same vehicle Wednesday night in the 1400 block of Todd's Creek Cove and tried to pull him over, but he took off.

Officers found the abandoned car, and a few hours later arrested Bennett.

Bennett's own family members were shocked by what he's accused of doing.

"It's sad, though, an eighty something year-old lady.  She can't fend for herself and why even do it?" said Al Childs.

Childs said his cousin suffers from mental problems and was just released from juvenile detention earlier this year.

Police also arrested him back in April for carrying a gun.

"I found out they were looking for him a couple days ago and I just don't understand why he did what he did. I mean, he pretty much got most the stuff he needed here my grandmother house. I don't know why he is out doing the stuff he's doing now," said Childs.

Smith is still recovering in the hospital.

Bennett is set to make his first court appearance Friday.