There was a crazy story involving WWE’s Sonya Deville over the weekend. It could have turned out terribly, but thankfully she avoided a scary situation and she’s going to be okay.
The Tampa Bay Tribune reported that a man from South Carolina drove to Sonya’s home (her real name is Daria Berenato) in Orlando to try to kidnap her. The man’s name is Phillip A. Thomas II and he apparently has been planning to kidnap Deville for about eight months. There is a photo of Thomas in the Tampa Bay Tribune post if you want to see it.
Here’s what happened late Saturday evening into early Sunday morning.
Thomas parked his car around midnight at Idlewild Church off Dale Mabry Highway and Van Dyke Road in Lutz and walked to a home on Pine Hammock Boulevard in the Promenade at Lake Park subdivision, the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
Thomas cut a hole in the patio screen and remained on the patio three to four hours while watching and listening through the windows. At 2:43 a.m., after the homeowner had gone to bed, Thomas entered the home through a sliding glass door, activating the alarm.
The homeowner looked out a window, spotted Thomas on the property and fled with a guest in a car. The homeowner called 911.
When the police were in the house, Thomas was still there. The police found Thomas carrying a knife, plastic zip ties, duct tape, mace and other items. Thomas told deputies he was planning to take the homeowner hostage.
There was a statement issued by Sheriff Chad Chronister, who noted that Thomas had stalked Sonya for several years.
“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.”
Thomas was charged with aggravated stalking, armed burglary of a dwelling, attempted armed kidnapping, and criminal mischief. He was being held without bail.
On Sunday night, Sonya tweeted about it and thanked everybody for their help.
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
Fellow WWE Superstar Titus O’Neil lives near Deville and released this statement to News Channel 8 as well:
“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.”
Best of luck to Sonya Deville in overcoming this potentially scary situation.
Sonya has one of the biggest matches of her WWE career this Sunday at SummerSlam when she faces former best friend Mandy Rose in a Hair vs. Hair Match.
TJR Thoughts: I’m so glad that Sonya is okay. This is a very scary situation and something we never want to think about, but sadly there are crazy people out there that stalk celebrities whether it’s on social media or elsewhere. I’m so glad that the alarm went off and Sonya got out of there without a confrontation because you never know what could have happened.