A man has been charged with kidnapping at the Lutz, Florida home owned by Sonya Deville.
Phillip A. Thomas II, 24, is a South Carolina resident arrested early Sunday for attempting to kidnap a Lutz homeowner he had never met but stalked on social media for years, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (via Tampa Bay Times)
While the victim was not identified, it has been confirmed that the home is owned by Daria Berenato, WWE’s Sonya Deville.
Reportedly, he began planning the abduction eight months ago. The attempted kidnapping was detailed in a news release.
According to the sheriff’s office, Thomas came from South Carolina, specifically targeting the homeowner. Thomas reportedly parked his car at the nearby Idlewild Baptist Church earlier that night and walked to the home, then cut a hole in the patio screen and waited there for three to four hours, watching and listening through the window until his target went to bed. The unnamed homeowner spotted Thomas and fled the scene in a car with a guest and called 911.
Thomas was charged with aggravated stalking, armed burglary of a dwelling, attempted armed kidnapping, and criminal mischief. He was being held without bail.
Sheriff Chad Chronister spoke of the frightening nature of the crime in a press release, “Our deputies are unveiling the suspect’s disturbing obsession with this homeowner who he had never met, but stalked on social media for years. 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.”
Sonya issued the following comment on social media.
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
WWE Superstar Titus O'Neil, who is also a resident of Hillsborough County, spoke to News Channel 8 on this developing situation. Titus has spoken to Daria and says she is thankfully safe.
“I have spoken to her and I’m glad she’s safe and I’m thankful and grateful that the sheriff’s office took care of the situation immediately. Celebrity status aside this is sickening. I am a product of a sexual assault and have zero-tolerance or respect for any human being that would violate a person’s privacy and or personal space.”
Fightful will continue to monitor the story and report any and all updates.