The home invasion and brutal beating of a mother of two last Friday on Cypress Street in Millburn—just over the Maplewood border—has shaken many Maplewood residents.
The young woman was viciously beaten in front of her 3-year-old daughter while her 1-year-old child was asleep upstairs. The attack was captured in detail on a nanny-cam and has stunned people nationwide.
The man broke down a dead-bolted door, punched, kicked and choked the woman and then threw her down the basement stairs while her child watched cartoons. 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.
“I live on the Maplewood border and I am totally disgusted and nervous after watching the video,” posted Sequoia Lauren Young on Maplewood Patch’s Facebook page. "I hope they find this [expletive] as soon as possible and he spends the rest of his life in a hole!”
“It scares the crap out of me,” wrote Mary Cunniffe Bauer. “My elderly Mom lives in Maplewood. This guy broke through a dead bolt lock…in daylight. What else can we do?” Frank Verderosa wrote: “…in three years [that] I've been here with my family Maplewood has had several murders, home invasions, endless burglaries, muggings…”
Maplewood Police Capt. John Perna said his department was taking measures “to protect our residents” including stepping up patrols and employing extra manpower near the Millburn border.
“Our officers were in the area immediately," said Perna, who said his officers had the video stills "very early on” and began searching for the man.
"We have pledged to offer any assistance required by the Millburn Police Department," Perna said. He said Maplewood Chief Robert J. Cimino had been in communication with Millburn Capt. Michael Palardy and Maplewood detectives were interacting with their counterparts.
Perna said the incident was “an isolated act” adding, “it’s certainly not the norm.” He said any time such a crime takes place, the department takes a close look to see if it resembles any similar incidents. “We have no information that it is connected to any prior incident in Maplewood at this time,” Perna said.
Perna said there were several steps Maplewoodians could take to ease their safety concerns.
First, residents can call the Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit at 973-762-3400 x 7916 and request a free home security survey. “People should take advantage of that,” he said.
Also, he reiterated that residents should never hesitate to call the police whenever they see anything remotely suspicious in their neighborhoods. “People should call the police immediately,” he said, and let officers determine if there is anything to be concerned about.
The Essex County Sheriff's Office is 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.
Authorities ask anyone with information or who can identify the man in the video to call the Millburn Police at 973-564-7001.