After viewing the two videos recorded by the teen, authorities immediately arrested 47-year-old Damon Richard Becnel.
For years, a Florida teen tried and failed to convince people that her own father was being physically abusive towards her and her beloved dogs. So, the 14-year-old from Okaloosa County decided to take matters into her own hands and prove her claims. According to a report by PEOPLE, the mother of the victim explained how her daughter installed a security camera in her bedroom all by herself. After viewing the two videos recorded by the teen, authorities immediately arrested 47-year-old Damon Richard Becnel on January 2, 2019, and charged him with one count of child abuse and one count of animal abuse, reports NBC15.
The teen's mother, Allison Tringas, said she was absolutely horrified after watching the footage of alleged abuse. "I was horrified. Absolutely horrified." Tringas then went on to reveal how her daughter and she approached the authorities and tried reporting the abuse for years, however, she said they failed to believe them. That's when the teen installed a Nest camera to record the unspeakable actions of her father. "Nothing was done. Nothing has ever been done to help my daughter," said Tringas. "She absolutely knew that something bad was going to happen and nobody would believe her unless she had that on film."
Let justice be served He doesn’t need to have custody of any children. This little girl will have problems mentally for the rest of her life. No money can replace love or damage this child has received.— ANGELA CERAVOLO (@SCUBAA42) 14 January 2020
In the graphic footage recorded on December 23, Becnel can be seen screaming at the teen and her dogs who were inside her bedroom. Tringas, who is divorced from the Becnel, shared the video where the man can be heard saying, "I’m not going to be disrespected in my [expletive] house." The suspect is then seen "pulling out a knife and pointing it at the dog while yelling 'I will cut this [expletive] dog’s [expletive] eyeballs out, I will do it,'" while continuing to complain about her dog "snapping" at him, as per the arrest warrant.
Following this Becnel strikes the dog and grabs it by the mouth before throwing it on the ground from the bed. "I’m killing the dog!" he shouts in the video which is now viral. "Please, dad, no, you’re not! Dad, stop!" pleads the teen. The warrant further states how the girl jumps onto Becnel's back to stop him from hurting her pets. But he "grabs the victim by the hair and pushes the victim’s head toward the bed, which makes contact with the bed frame/or post." He then orders the teen to "shut the [expletive] up" to which the girl is seen "cowering in the corner."
This video is circulating on social media showing a man allegedly abusing a 14 y.o. girl and a dog. Damon Becnel has been charged in this case. Tune into @weartv @ 10 to hear from the teen's mother who is calling her daughter a hero for capturing & reporting what happened to her pic.twitter.com/blGd46PQe5— Renee Beninate (@reneebeninate) 13 January 2020
As Becnel walks away, he turns around and yells at her once again and then head-butts her. "The victim’s head can be heard bouncing off the wall behind her and she immediately begins crying," reads the warrant. A complaint was made the following day after which Becnel was arrested. Becnel and Tringas have been involved in a lengthy dispute over child custody since the couple filed for a divorce in 2005, reports The Destin Log. The suspect was released shortly after he posted a $4,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on February 4.
While Tringas acknowledged that the emotional wounds inflicted by Becnel's abusive actions would take a long time to heal, she expressed how proud she was of her teen who was strong enough to collect evidence. "What he did in one night is going to probably take years to undo," said Tringas. "She is one strong and one smart little girl and I couldn’t be more proud of her. She is absolutely my hero. She is my hero. I would hate for justice not to be served and the system, again, fail my precious daughter."
The brave 14-year-old girl took matters into her own hands to prove the abuse at the hands of her father after no one believed her.https://t.co/KuxHafMPvp— WPEC CBS12 News (@CBS12) 14 January 2020
If you suspect child abuse, contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453.