Phillip A. Thomas Accused of Kidnapping Attempt at Home of WWE's Sonya Deville

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 16, 2020

Professional wrestler Sonya Deville appears at the 19th Annual Human Rights Campaign Greater New York Gala on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020 in New York. (Larry Busacca/AP Images for Human Rights Campaign)
Larry Busacca/Associated Press

Phillip A. Thomas II, 24, was reportedly arrested Sunday morning in an apparent kidnapping attempt involving WWE's Sonya Deville (real name Daria Berenato).

Kavitha Surana of the Tampa Bay Times reported the news, noting that "investigators did not identify the victim, but the home where the suspect was arrested is owned by Daria Berenato."

According to Surana, Thomas never met Deville but stalked her on social media. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said Thomas began planning the abduction eight months ago.

He was inside Berenato's home when police arrived.

Deville later took to social media to reveal "everyone is safe":

Daddy Deville @SonyaDevilleWWE

Thank you everyone for your love and concern. A very frightening experience but thankfully everyone is safe. A special thank you to Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for their response and assistance. 🖤

Thomas was held without bail and charged with aggravated stalking, armed burglary of a dwelling, attempted armed kidnapping and criminal mischief.

"Our deputies are unveiling the suspect’s disturbing obsession with this homeowner who he had never met, but stalked on social media for years," Sheriff Chad Chronister said. "It's frightening to think of all the ways this incident could have played out had the home alarm not gone off and alerted the homeowner of an intruder."

The Sheriff's Office issued a news release describing what apparently happened, noting Thomas parked his car in a church, walked to Berenato's home, cut a hole in the patio screen, remained there until the homeowner went to bed and then entered the home.

The homeowner fled with someone else in a car after the alarm system was activated and called 911.

Thomas was carrying a knife, plastic zip ties, duct tape and mace and said he planned on taking the homeowner hostage.


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