WWE Superstar Sonya Deville was in a scary situation this past weekend when a stalker broke into her home in Florida and attempted to kidnap her. Deville and a friend were able to escape safely while the man, who has been identified as Phillip A. Thomas, was arrested. The attempted kidnapping was something Thomas has planned earlier in the year. He had been following 26-year old's social media posts and exhibited an "obsession" with her.
"Thank you everyone for your love and concern," Deville wrote on social media. "A very frightening experience but thankfully everyone is safe. A special thank you to Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for their response and assistance." Deville can now focus on her big match on Sunday, Aug. 23 as she faces former best friend Mandy Rose in a hair vs. hair match. The two have been going after each other since April as Deville is angry Rose was getting all the attention while they were a tag team.
As happy WWE fans are that Deville is safe, things could have been a lot worse had it not been for her quick thinking and alarm system. Here's a look at everything we know about Deville's attempted kidnapping.
He Had a Knife
New details about the kidnapping attempt at the home of WWE star Sonya Deville emerge in an arrest report obtained Monday by the Tampa Bay Times from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.https://t.co/7P3b1QC34I— Tampa Bay Times (@TB_Times) August 17, 2020
In a report by the Tampa Bay Times, Thomas was holding a knife and pepper spray when he came face to face with Deville, whose real name is Daria Berenato. The prosecution motion stated: "The defendant admitted that his intention was to take Mrs. Berenato hostage by spraying her (with) pepper spray, binding her hands with the zip ties, and wrapping Duct tape around her arms to prevent from fighting back." Thomas was looking to keep Deville hostage and wasn't going to leave her house until she answered "all of his questions."prevnext
Mandy Rose was with Deville
The Tampa Bay Times also said that Rose was with Deville, and the two were able to escape when Thomas was in the home. Despite being bitter rivals on TV, Deville and Rose, whose real name is Amanda Saccomanno, have been best friends since joining WWE in 2015.prevnext
How did Deville and Rose Escape?
With Thomas in the home, how did Deville and Rose flee and not get caught? Deville said she watched the video from her security system and saw that Thomas followed. "But he thought I ran up the stairs, leaving me and my friend just enough time to escape," she stated.prevnext
When Deville learned Thomas' identity, she looked him up on Instagram and found hundreds of messages to her dating back to March 2019. The last message came on early Sunday morning, which stated: "Look outside, baby, by your pool. I'm here. I'm gonna kill that little b— you have inside with you."prevnext
Deville Never Saw the Messages
With Deville having nearly 1 million followers on Instagram, she never saw the messages from Thomas because she was never notified of them. "I'm a public figure with a social media following of almost 1 million so all his messages were in my 'request' folder, which is filled with thousands of messages from people I do not follow," Berenato wrote in the petition.prevnext
Driving from South Carolina
Thomas admitted to driving from South Carolina to Florida on Saturday to kidnap Deville. He parked his car one-third of a mile away from the home at Idlewild Church. Thomas then cut a hole in a patio screen and remained on the patio for three to four hours.prevnext
Still in Jail
Glad you are safe love.— Torrie Wilson (@Torrie11) August 17, 2020
Sending you so much love 💕🙏🏼 and thank God you are okay!!! 🙏🏼— Eva Marie (@natalieevamarie) August 17, 2020
As of Tuesday, Thomas remained in jail on charges of armed kidnapping, aggravated stalking and armed burglary of a dwelling, all felonies, and criminal mischief, a misdemeanor. A hearing is set for Thursday to prevent Thomas from being released on bail.prev