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NEWARK — It was one week after a man broke into a Millburn home and attacked a woman. The violent June 21, 2013 assault attracted attention after video from a "nanny cam" was released, showing the attack. The FBI in Newark had contacted Millburn police...

'Nanny cam' jury hears how FBI nabbed suspect in New York

NEWARK — It was one week after a man broke into a Millburn home and attacked a woman. The violent June 21, 2013 assault attracted attention after video from a "nanny cam" was released, showing the attack. The FBI in Newark had contacted Millburn police...

'Nanny cam' jury hears how FBI nabbed suspect in New York

NEWARK — It was one week after a man broke into a Millburn home and attacked a woman. The violent June 21, 2013 assault attracted attention after video from a "nanny cam" was released, showing the attack.

The FBI in Newark had contacted Millburn police and offered their help, and now the bureau's authority proved worthwhile, an FBI special agent testified in court Tuesday.

"We had the authority to cross state lines," the agent testified. On June 28, 2013, after checking two locations in New Jersey, the agents went to another address,  a New York City apartment building, and there in the lobby they arrested the suspect, Shaun Custis, 45, of Newark.

The special agent, who spent 10 years assigned to the Violent Crime Task Force in FBI's Newark Office, is now working out of the bureau's office in Washington, D.C.

He flew into Newark yesterday to testify at the Custis' trial. Because of the agent's current assignment, the Essex County Prosecutor's Office requested that his name be withheld.

Custis is charged with attempted murder, robbery, burglary and related offenses for allegedly punching the woman, kicking her and ultimately throwing her down the basement stairs, all while her 3-year-old daughter sat nearby on the living-room couch and her 18-month-old son was asleep in an upstairs bedroom.

The video showing the beating has been at the center of the trial.

Custis' attorney, Essex County Deputy Public Defender John McMahon, argued the video does not clearly depict the assailant's face.

Essex County Assistant Prosecutor Jamel Semper said witnesses who are familiar with Custis had seen the video and identified him as the assailant in statements to the police.

On Tuesday, Semper had the FBI agent describe how he and investigators from Essex County, assisted by FBI agents in New York, apprehended Custis in the lobby of the apartment building, and then went to the apartment of a woman in the building where Custis had been staying.

The agent identified photographs of men's clothing found in the apartment, including a pair of white sneakers similar to the ones the attacker is seen wearing in the video. The agent also identified a shirt and jeans found in the apartment.

Semper, in his opening statement, said DNA tests determined that blood on Custis' jeans had come from the victim of the attack.

Under cross-examination from McMahon, the agent said he was in the apartment but it was other investigators who admitted he was not in the apartment when other investigators photographed the men's clothing and collected the clothing for  evidence.

The trial before Superior Court Judge Ronald Wigler is scheduled to resume Thursday.

Tom Haydon may be reached at thaydon@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_HaydonSL. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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