LUTZ, Florida (CelebrityAccess) — A South Carolina is facing charges in connection with an alleged plot to kidnap female wrestling star Sonya Deville.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office alleged that 24-year-old Phillip A. Thomas II traveled from his home in South Carolina to Lutz, Florida, where he was charged with aggravated stalking, armed burglary of a dwelling, attempted armed kidnapping, and criminal mischief.
Investigators alleged that Thomas parked his car at a nearby church and walked to the home in question where he cut a hole in a screen door an surreptitiously observed the residents for several hours.
After the homeowner went to bed, Thomas was alleged 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 a guest fled the home in a car and called 911. When deputies arrived, Thomas was still inside the residence and arrested him.
The Sheriff’s office alleged that Deputies discovered Thomas was carrying a knife, plastic zip ties, duct tape, mace and other personal items. Investigators said that Thomas later admitted to traveling from South Carolina to find the homeowner and take her hostage.
While the Sheriff’s office did not identify the victim in the alleged incident, local media reported that it was the residence of Daria Berenato, who performs with the stage name is Sonya Deville.
“Our deputies are unveiling the suspect’s disturbing obsession with this homeowner who he had never met, but stalked on social media for years,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “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.”
Berenato also tweeted about the incident on Sunday, thanking the sheriff’s office calling it a “very frightening experience.”
Berenato, who transitioned from the world of MMA fighting to wrestling, is the first openly gay wrestler in WWE history, according to ESPN.