Man accused of raping, robbing 81-year-old released from prison - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Man accused of raping, robbing 81-year-old released from prison one day before attack

Palace Bells (Source: SCSO) Palace Bells (Source: SCSO)

A 23-year-old man was released from jail just one day before he allegedly attacked an 81-year-old woman.

An assault at an Exxon gas station on May 17 first landed 23-year-old Palace Bells behind bars. 

"He came to the counter," said store clerk Erene Tadrous. "He throw the item with unpolite way (sic), so I asked him to leave. But he didn't reply."

Tadrous said Bells attacked her after she refused to serve him.

"When he started to run out of the store, I was locking the door already on him," Tadrous recalled. "So, he throw out the 5-hour energy on me. It came on my arm. It broke my watch."

Tadrous said she locked herself behind the cashier's window, called the police and pressed the emergency button while Bells tore through the store.

The Shelby County District Attorney's office said on May 18, Bells plead guilty to the crime and was sentenced to 90 days in jail.

However, he was released early for good behavior on June 30. One day later, he allegedly raped and robbed an 81-year-old woman in the parking lot of Greater Imani Cathedral of Faith church on Austin Peay Highway.

"If he was out because good behavior, maybe he was angry that day. So it's OK, I forgave him," said Tadrous. "But right now, when I hear about the lady, I feel very bad for her."

Bells faces aggravated rape, aggravated robbery, evading arrest, resisting official detention and theft of property charges in the latest investigation.

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