On parole, long-time Boystown menace charged with robbing victim on Halsted bar strip Saturday

Joseph Grant (inset) is accused of battering and robbing a 58-year-old man at this ATM on the 3400 block of North Halsted. | CPD; Google

One man’s night out in Boystown went from bad to worse Saturday: His property was stolen while he visited an adult bookstore, then he wound up getting beaten and robbed outside. And police say he can thank a long-time neighborhood menace (who just happens to be on parole) for his bad fortune.

Around 5:30 a.m., a 58-year-old man discovered that some of his personal property went missing as he patronized an adult bookstore on the 3500 block of North Halsted, police said. 

When he stepped outside, 27-year-old Joseph Grant approached him and displayed the stolen property. After a little negotiating, Grant agreed to sell the man’s property back to him for $20, according to Officer Michelle Tannehill, a CPD spokesperson.

Grant accompanied the man to a nearby ATM so the victim could withdraw the $20. But, after the victim entered his PIN, Grant punched the man, pushed him to the ground, and then entered a larger withdrawal amount into the ATM, Tannehill said. 

A witness called police as the robbery unfolded, and police caught up with Grant in an alley behind the 3500 block of North Sheffield around 6:15 a.m.

Prosecutors charged Grant with felony robbery, felony aggravated battery, and misdemeanor deceptive practice. Judge David Navarro set bail at $50,000, which means Grant will need to post a deposit bond of $5,000 to be released before trial.

State records show Grant was paroled on Aug. 23 after serving half of a five-year sentence that he received for burglarizing a Boystown home in 2017.

In that case, a man woke up in the 800 block of West Buckingham and found Grant standing over him. Grant ran out the back door with property he had gathered from the apartment—an iPhone, a MacBook, and the man’s wallet, police said.

Officers found Grant hiding in the apartment building’s basement with the victim’s stolen property, according to police.

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In 2015, Grant received 30-months probation for robbing a 25-year-old man in Wrigleyville. Prosecutors said at the time that Grant and another man approached the victim from behind on the 3600 block of North Sheffield, punched him in the head and face, and stole his iPhone and wallet.

While on probation for that robbery, prosecutors charged Grant with a long list of narcotics charges after police allegedly found him in possession of cocaine and pot near Halsted and Melrose in Boystown.