WWE superstar Sonya Deville is preparing for her showdown with former bestie Mandy Rose at SummerSlam on Sunday, Aug. 23. But in reality the female performer, real name Daria Berenato, reportedly faced a scary situation involving a South Carolina man and an alleged kidnapping attempt.
While investigators didn't identify Deville, her home and social media presence are central to the alleged crime planned by Phillip A. Thomas earlier in the year. Thomas allegedly had been following the Total Divas star's social media posts and exhibited what police called an "obsession" with the WWE superstar.
Man arrested on kidnapping charge at home of WWE star Sonya Deville https://t.co/tsLAizVtOq— Tampa Bay Times (@TB_Times) August 16, 2020
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Thomas parked his car near a church close to the intended victim's home. When he reached the home, he cut a hole in the patio screen and stayed on the patio "three to four hours" observing the home through the window. Once the homeowner had gone to bed, Thomas entered through a sliding door and set off a security alarm. After spotting Thomas through a window, the homeowner, listed as the WWE Superstar, fled the scene with a guest and called 911.
Police reported that Thomas was inside the home when they arrived and told them he had planned to take Deville hostage. He also reportedly was carrying a knife, zip ties, duct tape, a can of mace and more. The Sheriff's department detailed the investigation in their 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," Sheriff Chad Chronister said in the release according to the Tampa Bay Times. "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."
According to police, the alleged kidnapper is connected to an account on Twitter that "contains mainly messages" about Deville, her activities and retweets about upcoming events. The Tampa Bay Times added that many posts saw Thomas defend the WWE star, responding to her posts and posting messages using her real name. They highlight an Aug. 8 post where they describe the account as "distressed." In response to a psychiatrist writing "U R Perfect!" on the social media platform, the alleged stalker wrote some troubling messages.0comments
"But what if others think I’m not and I have no self confidence or self worth?" the account responded. "I’m asking for your advice because I need a second opinion on something that could determine what happens next in my life." If this led to the alleged kidnapping attempt, you'd have to think some warning signs were present.
If there is any information related to the case, people should call the Hollsborough County Sherrif's Office at (813) 247-8200. Deville has not publicly posted about the incident and seems to be fine.