Special Needs Woman Held Captive by Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

It all started when 46-year-old Regina Bennett, from Olney, Philadelphia, verbally threaten one of her neighbors. The police arrived and arrested Bennett, who lives on Linton Street.

One neighbor, Yolanda Cropper, described Bennett to police as having a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-type personality. When Bennett drank, her personality changed from being quiet and withdrawn to that of a Jekyll and Hyde figure. Cropper stated that she had been Bennett’s neighbor for only a few months, but had witnessed her having run-ins with the neighbors many times. Even a simple hello would set her off cursing and yelling. Cropper described Bennett as African-American and very prejudiced against those who are not.

Bennett was drunk at the time of her arrest during the early morning hours of Saturday, August 17.

It was not until Sunday, after the arrest, when neighbors informed authorities that a small child was also living with her. Although at the time of Bennett’s apprehension, no signs of a child living in the home were detected.

To further investigate the claim that Bennett lived with a child, authorities conducted a walk through of the house. That is when a woman was discovered in the basement living in deplorable conditions.

Bennett’s cousin, 36-year old Sakinah, her last name not released, was found chained to a bed, her body emaciated and covered with sores. The police thought the woman appeared to be mentally disabled with limited vocabulary. Phyllis, another cousin of Bennett’s, confirmed to authorities that Bennett was the one responsible for caring for Sakinah.

Allissa, Sakinah’s biological sister, did not know Bennett was supposedly holding her sister captive. Sakinah had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and mentally having the mind of a ten-year old.

Sakinah was transferred to the Albert Einstein Medical Center for evaluation. After release from the medical center, Ms. Robinson advised that she would now be the one responsible for taking care of her sister and her custodial needs.

The small child that was thought to have lived in Bennett’s house was her small grandson, who visited the home on weekends and was observed by the neighbors when playing outside.

The dozen charges being filed against Bennett include aggravated assault, kidnapping for ransom, and neglect of care.

Written by Lisa Graziano

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