In a disturbing story, the Hillsbrough County Sheriff’s Office have released information of an arrest they made on Saturday night at the home of WWE star Sonya Deville near Tampa Bay, Florida.
Phillip A. Thomas, 24, a native of South Carolina was arrested after reportedly spending hours lying in wait in Deville’s home and was found by police to be carrying a knife, mace, zip-ties and duct tape.
The home-owner, believed to be Deville (real name Daria Berenato) became aware of Thomas’ presence by means of an intruder alarm. They then alerted police and fled the house. The suspect was arrested and police claim the kidnap had been planned for eight months. Thomas has reportedly stalked Deville on social media for a number of years.
The story was originally reported by the Tampa Bay Times who printed the following details following receipt of a press release from the Sherrif’s Office:
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.
Thomas was still in the house when deputies arrived. He was carrying a knife, plastic zip ties, duct tape, mace and other items and told deputies he was planning to take the homeowner hostage.
Thomas, listed on a jail booking sheet as an Applebee’s crew member, has been charged with aggravated stalking, armed burglary of a dwelling, attempted armed kidnapping, and criminal mischief. He was 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 the 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.”
Deville is scheduled to face Mandy Rose in a hair vs. hair match at SummerSlam on Sunday August 23rd. It remains to be seen whether this will still be the case after this disturbing incident.