UPDATE (01/15/20) — Tom Becnel, the father of Damon Richard Becnel, provides a statement to News 5:
“My granddaughter is in a very comfortable, safe home with her two dogs. She is trying to resume a normal life of school and activities. I ask that you give the family the time and privacy that we need to help my granddaughter return to the normal life of a 14 1/2 year-old child.The incident that took place before Christmas is not indicative of my family’s values or behavior. I hope my son gets the treatment he needs and you will give us the privacy we need at this time to heal.”Tom Becnel, Damon Richard Becnel’s Father
DESTIN, Fla. (WKRG) — Home security video captured a Destin man tormenting an animal and abusing a child on Dec. 23, according to investigators.
The video was provided to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office. It allegedly shows Damon Richard Becnel, 47, in a room with a girl and a dog on a bed. Investigators say Becnel is seen with a knife yelling at the victim, threatening to cut the dog’s eyeballs out. The man in the video yelled about the dog “snapping” at him and struck the dog and grabbed it by the mouth. The dog became agitated, which triggered the man to grab the dog by the throat and throw it to the ground.
As the girl yelled for the man to stop, noise from what is believed to be a knife is heard opening as the dog is on the ground. The girl then jumped on the man’s back. The man then grabbed the girl by the hair and shoved her head into the bedpost.
In a second video picking up where the first one left off, the girl can be seen cowering in the room corner near a door. The video shows the man yelling at the girl then headbutting her. The girl’s head can be heard bouncing off the wall behind her.
Damon Richard Becnel is charged with child abuse and tormenting an animal.