A man has been arrested in Lutz, Florida after attempting to kidnap a local homeowner - reportedly WWE star Sonya Deville.
While local authorities have not identified the victim, the scene of the arrest was reportedly a house owned by Daria Berenato - better known by her WWE moniker Sonya Deville.
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ESPN reported that they confirmed via public records that the home is owned by Berenato.
Deville tweeted about the incident on Sunday, saying it was a “very frightening experience but thankfully everyone is safe.”
“A special thank you to Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for their response and assistance,” she added.
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. 🖤— Daddy Deville (@SonyaDevilleWWE) August 17, 2020
Intruder’s obsession with Sonya Deville
The man, 24-year-old Phillip A. Thomas II, had reportedly planned the abduction for eight months after stalking Berenato on social media.
According to the sheriff’s office, Thomas parked his car at a nearby church around midnight and walked to the house, where he waited on the patio while looking into the house through the windows.
At 2:43am, the homeowner reportedly went to bed, at which point Thomas allegedly entered the house through a sliding door and activated the alarm.
The homeowner then reportedly saw Thomas on the property, fled from the scene with a guest and called 9-1-1.
Thomas was reportedly still at the house when deputies arrived. Per authorities, he was carrying, among other things, a knife, plastic zip ties, duct tape and mace, and told deputies that he was planning to take the homeowner hostage.
Thomas has reportedly been charged with aggravated stalking, armed burglary of a dwelling, attempted armed kidnapping and criminal mischief. He is being held without bail.
“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 in a news release.
“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.”
While Thomas has never met the homeowner, his Twitter account consists of repeated tweets and retweets about Deville and her career.
His most recent activity was retweeting this from WWE about Deville’s upcoming appearance at SummerSlam:
Who will leave The Biggest Event of the Summer with a shocking new do? Catch the wild Hair vs. Hair Match and all of #SummerSlam, streaming on @WWENetwork Monday, August 24 at 9am (AEST). https://t.co/4JMdHOLxsA pic.twitter.com/UfvNBcTbU5— WWE Australia (@WWEAustralia) August 15, 2020
The 26-year-old Deville is the first openly gay female wrestler in WWE history, and currently stars in the company’s “Total Divas” reality show.
with Yahoo Sports US