Alton man accused of breaking in, robbing couple at gunpoint

An 18-year-old Alton man’s black beanie with an anime logo on it ultimately led to his arrest last Friday on a charge of aggravated robbery over allegations he forced his way into an apartment and held a couple at gunpoint.

Police arrested Joseph Angel Leal after one of the alleged victims told an officer he recognized the beanie and Leal’s voice, telling authorities the man lived near his apartment and had been over there a couple of weeks ago hanging out.

Alton police responded to the apartment in the 1900 block of West Main Street at about 12:56 a.m. Friday after the couple reported that they had just been robbed at gunpoint.

“(The woman) stated she was asleep on the couch and woke up when she heard a loud bang. (She) stated that she saw two male individuals wearing all black on top of (her boyfriend) with guns pointed at him and yelling at him to give them his money,” a probable cause affidavit states.

She told police that one of the suspects, who was short, pointed the gun at her and cursed at her, telling her to give him all her jewelry and money, police say.

The man told police he had been watching television when he heard someone knocking at his apartment door.

“(He) stated he looked through the door peep hole, but did not see anyone. (He) stated he then opened the door to try and see who was knocking, to where the door was pushed in from the outside, causing the door to hit him on the chest,” the affidavit states.

The man told police one of the suspects grabbed him by the throat and pushed him onto the couch.

“(He) stated he looked up at the male, who then hit him with a gun on the left side of his face and then again on the back side of his head,” the affidavit states.

The alleged victim described the man as being tall and skinny and wearing a black beanie with an anime logo on it.

He also told police he recognized the beanie as belonging to Leal, who is tall and skinny and always wears the same beanie, police say.

“(He) advised that he recognized Joseph by the beanie he was wearing and by the tone of his voice. (He) stated he called the male Joseph, to where he reacted by pulling down his beanie to cover his face,” the affidavit states.

However, he didn’t recognize the suspect, but described the man as short.

Police found Leal in a nearby neighborhood and transported him to the Alton Police Department, where he was arrested.

Leal remained jailed Tuesday on a $250,000 bond.