A Millburn, NJ, beating suspect was arrested after a nanny cam video caught him storming into a house and beating a mother, with his apprehension allowing a terrorized neighborhood to breathe a sigh of relief.
The horrifying attack showed a man attacking a mother inside her home, violently beating her and tossing her down a flight of stairs. Police later arrested 42-year-old Shawn Custis.
Footage of the nanny cam home invasion became national news in the days after the incident, leaving residents in the Millburn, NJ, neighborhood terrified that the then-unidentified suspect could strike again.
The arrest of Shawn Custis brought a sense of relief to the neighborhood, one resident said.
“This whole block, you could just hear a collective sigh of relief when the news started breaking that they got this guy,” Nick Romano told NBC4.
Neighbors seemed right to worry, police records show. Custis was revealed to to be a serial burglar, convicted of a similar incident in Burlington County home more than 20 years ago. After searching a box of jewelry, Custis hid in the closet when the homeowner’s 34-year-old daughter and her young daughter and niece arrived home.
“She entered the master bedroom; he jumped out of the closet. He took her by surprise,” Delran Detective Sgt. Jeffrey Hubbs said.
Custis pushed the woman onto the bed, punching and choking her as he dragged her to stairs leading to the basement. He pushed the woman and her daughter down the stairs, then stole her car keys and drove off in her Ford station wagon.
After serving 10 years in prison for the attack, Custis found himself in trouble again. In September 2009 he was convicted of committing three burglaries in two weeks. He was released from prison in December.
Custis had also been caught lurking in the home of his girlfriend’s neighbor.
“I walked out into my living room, and he was just standing there,” Nancy Hernandez told the New York Daily News. “I was scared. Why would he just walk into my home like that? He gave me the creeps.”
The Millburn, NJ, beating suspect has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder, robbery, burglary and child endangerment.