The man suspected of violently attacking a woman in her NJ home while her three-year-old daughter looked on was arrested yesterday. NJ authorities and the FBI found Shawn Custis in New York City, in an apartment in upper Manhattan.
On the morning of June 21, a Millburn woman was beaten by a home invasion robber, who would punch her and kick her in between looking around the house. She suffered a concussion, chipped teeth, bruising and cuts (she was also thrown down a set of stairs), but her toddler daughter and baby son (who was sleeping upstairs) were fine. The victim said, "I knew that if I started screaming, my daughter would too, and I was afraid she would get hurt. I took it. I didn't cry the entire time." The video is pretty startling and graphic:
Over $20,000 was offered as a reward for information about the suspect, and that might have helped: The Star-Ledger reports that "several Newark residents who had seen the video said they recognized Custis, a career criminal who was most recently released from prison in December." After receiving his name, a warrant was issued for his arrest. WCBS 2 has details on how he was located:
Sources told CBS 2′s Alice Gainer that Custis was hiding out with his girlfriend and two kids in Newark, but that the girlfriend kicked him out of her house and called police after learning his face was being flashed all over the television in connection to the attack.
Police later pinged Custis’ cellphone and tracked him to the home of another girlfriend at 3738 10th Ave. in Inwood, where the arrest was made, Gainer reported. It is believed Custis took a train from Newark to New York City.
....According to the daughter of the Inwood girlfriend, her mother had an order of protection against Custis because he had beaten her in the past. However, she apparently forgave him and allowed him to stay in the apartment. The daughter also said her mother doesn’t have a television so she didn’t have any idea the authorities were looking for Custis.
“First impression, I liked him, but then as I started getting to know him and I didn’t like him. And that’s all I am going to say,” the daughter said.
The Star-Leder notes that Custis has "12 felony convictions dating back to the early 1990s... In July 2006, Custis escaped from a state Department of Corrections halfway house and was later arrested for burglarizing more than 20 homes in Hamilton and Trenton, according to court documents."
Custis has been charged with first-degree murder, robbery, burglary and endangering the welfare of a child. His bail is set at $750,000.