A sickening three-minute beating of a young mother during a home invasion — captured in vivid color on a nanny cam — has sent shockwaves through the normally-quiet Millburn community as authorities on Tuesday stepped up the hunt for the violent intruder.
"You come into a neighborhood and you assume certain things—like safety," said Frank Reino, 86, of Millburn, where violent crimes are rare, traditionally numbering less than 25 per year.
The violent home invasion Friday morning on Cypress Street, where a young mother was viciously beaten in front of her 3-year-old daughter while her 1-year-old child was asleep upstairs, has plunged this quiet community into disbelief.
“It’s scary [because] this stuff really doesn’t normally happen in this neighborhood—if ever,” said Cypress Street resident Ben Masters, 19.
The footage, of which Patch has chosen to publish only a small portion, shows the young mother playing with her daughter and watching television when, just after 10 a.m., a man kicks in the dead-bolted back door.
The hulking man rushes into the family room and begins to pummel the screaming mother as she falls back onto the couch—where her daughter sits silently watching cartoons.
After punching the woman more than a dozen times in the face, the man heads upstairs, where Millburn police said the mother’s 1-year-old daughter was sleeping. The video shows the woman stumbling to her feet in an attempt to follow the man up the stairs.
But the intruder rushes down the stairs and punches her in the face again, knocking her over. The woman falls to the floor, striking her head on the corner of the wooden table on her way down.
The woman, appearing extremely disoriented, tries bravely to stand up, but the man grabs her hair and slams her face into the table.
He calmly begins asking, “Where’s your pocket book at?" When she doesn't answer, he throws her against the wall.
The man continues to pace the house as the woman attempts several times to stand. She is kicked twice in the face and punched repeatedly during the remainder of the video.
Before leaving, the man picks her up and throws her down the basement stairs before walking out the front door.
"Why that house?" asked Reino, who has lived on Cypress Street for 52 years.
After a few minutes, the 3-year-old takes sits up straight and sucks her thumb until the woman manages to climb back up the stairs.
The woman was taken to the hospital Friday for injuries to her face and leg. She suffered a concussion and was released over the weekend.
The Essex County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday that it's offering a reward for any information that leads to the arrest of the intruder, who made off with jewelry.
The resident described the burglar as a 5-foot-11 black man, about 220 pounds with a salt-and-pepper beard.
"This guy deserves the penalty plus some," Reino said.
Authorities ask anyone with information or who can identify the man in the video to call the Millburn Police at 973-564-7001.