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Destin man accused of abusing child, dog

Daily News staff reports
Walton Sun

DESTIN A local man has been arrested after he allegedly abused a child and her dog, lawmen say.

The man, 47-year-old Damon Becnel of Destin, was charged Jan. 2 with child cruelty and cruelty to animals.

According to his Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office arrest report, on Dec. 24 the child reported that she was physically abused the day before by Becnel and provided video of the incident to investigators.

The video shows the victim and two dogs in a bedroom. While the dog is on the bed, Becnel can be seen pulling out a knife and threatening the dog while yelling, “I will cut this (expletives deleted) dog’s eyeballs out, I’ll (expletive deleted) do it,” the arrest report said.

Becnel later could be seen striking the dog and grabbing it by the throat and throwing it to the floor while the child yells at him to stop.

He also allegedly grabbed the victim by the hair and pushed her head toward the bed, where it struck the bed frame.

The report said Becnel later re-engaged the victim and struck her in the head, causing it to bounce off the wall.

Becnel will appear before a judge on Feb. 4.

He is a prominent local business owner and the son of Tom Becnel, a local businessman and developer.