Brave Teen Girl Uses Secret Cameras To Catch Her Abusive Dad
A 14-year-old girl who said she tried to report her father’s abuse for years installed secret cameras to prove to police what was happening inside her home.
The teenage girl handed over the footage to authorities in Destin, Okaloosa County, Florida, which reportedly showed 47-year-old Damon Becnel in a bedroom with his daughter and two dogs.
In the footage, police say Becnel could be seen headbutting the 14-year-old, causing her to strike her head against the wall with a loud thud. He was also allegedly recorded threatening to cut one of the dog’s throats.
In the footage, the father could apparently be heard screaming about one of the dogs not obeying him, as the girl sat on a chair on the other side of the room. Becnel was then reportedly filmed striking the dog before pulling out what police said was a knife and threatening to harm the animal.
‘I will cut this f*cking dog’s eyeballs out, I’ll f*cking do it,’ he yelled as he held the knife towards the dog, according to an arrest report obtained by ABC News.
The report states the 47-year-old then grabbed the dog by the neck and threw it to the ground, prompting his daughter to scream and lunge at Becnel in an effort to protect the defenceless animal. The footage later apparently showed Becnel screaming into the girl’s face as she was backed up against a wall trying to shield the two dogs.
The father was charged with felony child abuse and tormenting an animal on January 2, according to the sheriff’s office. According to the arrest report, Becnel is a prominent local business owner.
The girl’s mother, who does not have custody of the 14-year-old, told ABC Pensacola affiliate WEAR her daughter had been trying to report the alleged abuse for years, but no one believed her.
The mum confirmed the teenager and her dogs are now living with Becnel’s best friend, saying that the Department of Child Services’ safety plan allowed Becnel to determine who would have custody of the 14-year-old while he was in jail. Her mother is fighting to have this changed.
Becnel was released on January 3 after posting $4,000 bail and is due before a judge on February 4.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence regarding the welfare of a child contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000. If you are a child seeking advice and support call Childline for free on 0800 1111.