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Teen Installs Cameras After Being Told She’s Lying About Abuse

— January 24, 2020

Teenage girl resorts to installing cameras to capture domestic abuse.

According to the mother of a 14-year-old girl, her child installed cameras in her bedroom after she tried to report physical abuse time and again, but no one believed her.  After footage was captured, the teen provided video evidence of assaults to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office in Florida.  This ultimately led to the arrest of 47-year-old Damon Becnel.

According to the police report, in the two videos submitted, Becnel was captured head butting the teen, and grabbing her by the hair and throwing her head against the bed.  At one point, the man also pulled a knife on a dog and yelling “I will cut this f—— god—- dog’s f—— eyeballs out” while the girl pleaded with him to stop.  He later could be seen hitting the dog and grabbing it by the throat, throwing the animal to the floor.

The teen had evidently tried to report the alleged abuse for years, but no one believed her.  The Florida Division of Corporations lists the defendant as a managing partner of more than two-dozen businesses, including president of the Sandestin Police Department Inc. He has been charged with felony child abuse and tormenting an animal, and was released after posting bail awaiting trial.

Teen Installs Cameras After Being Told She's Lying About Abuse
Photo by Velizar Ivanov on Unsplash

The girl’s mom, Allison Tringas, does not have custody and the minor is now living with Becnel’s best friend.  After Becnel’s arrest, Tringas filed a Petition for Injunction Against Domestic Violence on behalf of her daughter.  The petition claims Becnel “was intoxicated” when he assaulted the girl and the dog.  Also, at one point, Becnel pinned her against a closest and when she asked him if he was going to kill her, he allegedly replied, “maybe.”  The document also states the girl was not allowed to leave the home and her cell phone was taken away.  She was trapped inside the abusive home for a substantial amount of time.

“(The teen) escaped Damon’s house while he was asleep and walked miles to Walmart in Destin, purchased a burner phone and called her babysitter,” the petition states.  It adds that after the move, Becnel continued to harass his daughter, having an attorney call her to warn her “not to say anything about this event because she will end up in foster care.”  Despite his business endeavors, Becnel “has a criminal history, has committed or threatened acts of domestic violence in the past, owns more than twenty guns, and has drug and alcohol problems and a history of mental health issues,” the petition reads.

The defendant’s attorney has said the petition contains falsehoods and has asked for an extension in the case so the girl can retain her own attorney.  The defense’s motion claims Tringas “is the last person who should be representing the child and definitely does not have the child’s best interests in mind.” Tringas allegedly has her own history of substance abuse and mental illness.

Becnel and Tringas first filed for divorce in 2005 with court records showing their last court battle was as recent as 2016.  That case has once again been re-opened, records show.


Becnel abuse charges spark community backlash, custody dispute in Destin

14-year-old girl installs cameras to record proof of alleged abuse when no one would believe her

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