New Jersey police are searching for the man responsible for a brutal and brazen home invasion in Millburn that was disturbingly captured on a baby monitor.
Video footage of the home invasion was released Tuesday by the Millburn Police Department. The mother who was beaten consented to the release of the video in hopes that the suspect will be caught and no other homeowner will have to endure a similar attack.
John Bushman, the next-door neighbor of the victim, said she made the right decision.
"That’s the kind of person she is – she doesn’t want it to happen to anybody else," he told NJ.com. "I hope they catch this guy. I canceled my vacation. I was supposed to leave Thursday.”
At the beginning of the video, which you can view above, the mother and her 3-year-old daughter are quietly watching cartoons and sitting on a couch when a man bursts in and starts attacking the victim. The criminal chokes the mother, kicks her in the face and drags her around the house as the terrified child watches the attack, never leaving the couch.
The home invasion, which occurred Friday, came as a shock to the Millburn Police Department because of the viciousness of the attack.
"People come here because it’s a safe town," Capt. Michael Palardy, a veteran officer on the Millburn Police Department, told NJ.com, adding that he can’t recall the last time the prosperous suburb had had a home invasion.
The suspect took jewelry from the house during the home invasion, according to Fox News. He was described as a black male, between 5-feet-11 inches and 6-feet 2-inches tall and weighing about 220 pounds with a salt-and-pepper beard.
In the video, the victim is not seen fighting off her attacker. She later told News 12 New Jersey that she kept quiet for fear that her daughter would be harmed. The mother suffered a concussion in the attack and was taken to a hospital.
"I knew that if I started to scream my daughter would too and I was afraid he would shoot at her. I took it and I didn't cry the entire time," the victim said. "They need to help us get him off the street. He's not just a burglar, he's violent."
The Essex County Sheriff’s Office is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect. Anyone with information on the New Jersey home invasion was urged to call the Millburn Police Department at 973-564-7001.
Millburn residents who live near where the home invasion took place told NJ.com that they never thought twice about their security. But the attack has made them more fearful.
“I’m so scared now” said Luz Albarado, a Millburn resident since 2011. “I never saw anything like that.”
Shirley Lukawitz, a 13-year town resident who lives a block away, said the attack is “a little scary.”