MILLBURN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Police in New Jersey are vowing to a catch a suspect who was seen on a nanny camera violently beating a woman during a home invasion.
Millburn police Capt. Michael Palardy called the attack “one of the most brutal things I’ve seen in 25 years.”
“This sickened me,” he added.
It happened Friday around 10 a.m. The mother of two was sitting with her 3-year-old daughter on a couch watching cartoons when the suspect forced his way into the home through a locked back door, police said.
In the video, the suspect can be seen rushing at the woman, punching her repeatedly in the face and knocking her to the ground.
“She tried to keep as quiet as possible and not cry or yell because she didn’t want to upset her daughter,” Palardy said.
For the next 10 minutes, he is seen in the video beating the woman as her daughter sits on the couch clutching a blanket. In the video, he can be seen punching and kicking the woman in her head and body and choking her — stopping briefly to go upstairs and into other rooms in the house.
As the woman tries to get up in the video, he grabs her and drags her into another room where he appears to throw her down the stairs.
Finally, the suspect threw the woman down the basement stairs and walked out the front door.
“I’m surprised she doesn’t have any broken bones,” Palardy told CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang. “They were treating her for a concussion, for a lot of swelling to the face and bumps and bruises all over her body.”
As CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell reported, the woman’s face was still swollen and painfully bruised as she recounted the brutal attack.
“I feel like the whole side of my face is gorged,” the victim, who is remaining anonymous, told CBS 2. “He brutally beat me in front of my daughter. She watched the whole thing.”
Police said it appears to be a random attack.
“He saw a house with empty garbage cans in front, no cars in the driveway,” Palardy said. “He assumed that there was no one home, and then when he was confronted, he acted immediately violent.”
The suspect fled with jewelry, including the woman’s wedding ring. The woman’s daughter and her 1-year-old son upstairs were not hurt, police said.
Neighbor Annette Romano said the violent incident scared her.
“I stay away from movies like that, so to actually know this really did happen, it’s unimaginable,” Romano said.
She and other neighbors are now taking extra precautions.
“I have an alarm company coming this week to give me an estimate,” she told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell.
The victim’s identity has been concealed for her safety, but she and police said they want the public to see the violent images.
“We want this to get out, and we want to show the brutality; show the urgency that we want this guy caught,” Palardy said.
Palardy said police are now trying to identify the suspect and hope the newly released video of the home invasion will lead them to an arrest.
“Every second he’s on the street, he can be a threat to somebody else,” he said. “He shouldn’t be in society. He should be locked up and the key should be thrown away.”
Investigators describe the suspect as a black man, about 5-foot-11 and weighing around 210 pounds. They also said he might have a light salt-and-pepper beard.
“This can happen to anyone,” the victim said. “And you know what? If he can break down my door, he’s going to break your door down.”
The Essex County Sheriff’s Office is offering a $5,000 reward for any information that leads to the arrest of the attacker.
Only an arrest will put the victim, her family and her neighbors at ease, CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis reported.
Anyone with any information about the crime is asked to contact Lt. Keith Laverty of the Millburn Police Department at 973-564-7001 or 973-565-7016.
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