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Man Arrested for Attempted Kidnapping of WWE Superstar Sonya Deville

Authorities say suspect was carrying a knife, plastic zip ties, duct tape and mace

A man was arrested early Sunday for breaking into WWE Superstar Sonya Deville’s Lutz, Florida home and attempting to kidnap her, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

The suspect, identified as 24-year-old Phillip A. Thomas II, parked his car at a nearby church earlier in the evening, walked to the home of Deville (real name Daria Rae Berenato), cut a hole in the patio screen and stayed there for three to four hours, “watching and listening through the windows,” per a press release from the sheriff’s department.

“After the homeowner went to bed, Thomas entered through the back sliding glass door, which activated the home alarm, and prompted the homeowner to look out the window and spot the suspect on the property. The homeowner and their guest fled the home in a car and called 911. When deputies arrived, Thomas was still inside the residence. Deputies discovered he was carrying a knife, plastic zip ties, duct tape, mace and other personal items.”

Detectives determined during their investigation that Thomas lives in South Carolina and came to Lutz “specifically targeting” Deville. According to deputies, Thomas said he was planning to take the wrestler “hostage.”

Thomas was arrested on charges of 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 in a statement Sunday. “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. Our deputies arrived within minutes and arrested this man who was clearly on a mission to inflict harm.”

Deville tweeted late Sunday: “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.”