A Florida man charged with animal abuse and child cruelty earlier this year has regained temporary custody of the teen daughter.
ABC 3 reports that Damon Becnel has been fighting for custody over the past several months after his daughter was taken away from him in January over child and animal abuse claims.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Becnel’s then-14-year-old daughter secretly recorded him in their Destin home in December 2019 after she said no one believed her allegations of abuse. The videos allegedly painted a disturbing picture of what went on at the home behind closed doors.
The incident started when the victim intervened after Becnel threatened to cut the family dog’s eyeballs out and “strangle the mother f*****.” He then allegedly picked the pup up by the throat and slammed it on the ground.
“I will cut this (expletives deleted) dog’s eyeballs out, I’ll (expletive deleted) do it,” Becnel allegedly said.
As the teen tried to protect her pet, her father grabbed her by the hair and pushed her. She ended up hitting her head on the headboard of a bed.
A second part of the video shows the suspect with his hand still grabbing the girl’s hair, according to ABC7. While screaming at the teen, Becnel then headbutted her.
The girl’s mother, Allison Tringas told ABC 3 that both she and her daughter had been trying to get authorities involved in the alleged abuse against Becnel for a long time, but no one listened or believed them until the girl recorded him.
The victim took the video to authorities, who subsequently arrested Becnel in January. He bonded out of jail on $4,000 shortly after.
The teen’s lawyer now claims that she wants to go back and live with her father, but the victim’s mother argued that her daughter was being manipulated.
Judge Edward Nickinson, a former 1st Judicial Circuit Court judge in Escambia County, came out of retirement to hear the latest details on the child custody case. He then granted Becnel temporary custody until the next court hearing.
Becnel has not yet faced trial for the animal and child abuse charges. He has a hearing scheduled in criminal court in December. However, the new custody arrangement could possibly change the outcome of the criminal trial.
WARNING: Graphic Video
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[Featured Photo: Damon Becnel/Police Handout]