Sonya Deville had a serious situation at her home early Sunday morning.
TampaBay.com reports Phillip A. Thomas II, 24, was arrested early Sunday morning for attempting to kidnap the owner of a home in the Tampa, Florida suburb of Lutz. According to police, the suspect had never met the homeowner but stalked them on social media for years. Police did not identify the victim but the home is owned by Sonya Deville, whose real name is Daria Berenato.
Thomas, who is from South Carolina, allegedly began planning the abduction eight months ago. He parked his car around midnight at a nearby church and walked to the home in a subdivision. He gained entry by cutting a hole in the patio screen and remained there for three to four hours, while watching and listening through the windows.
At 2:43 AM ET, after the homeowner had gone to bed, Thomas entered through a sliding glass door. This activated a security system. The homeowner saw Thomas on the property and fled with a guest in a vehicle. Police were called.
Once officers arrived, Thomas was in the home and armed with a knife and mace. He also had plastic zip ties, duct tape and other items he told deputies he planned to use to take the homeowner hostage.
Thomas, who was listed as an Applebee’s crew member, was arrested on charges of aggravated stalking, armed burglary of a dwelling, attempted armed kidnapping and criminal mischief. He is 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.”
A Twitter account that allegedly belongs to the suspect is located @Phillip80400010 and includes re-tweets of Deville’s account and messages written in her defense.
“The only person who’s maybe more talented than her in the ring is maybe Charlotte Flair and that’s a damn strong maybe, but Sasha is not more talented than her and especially not Alexa,” one Tweet sent on August 11, 2020 read.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at (813) 247-8200.
TampaBay.com has more, including the suspect’s mugshot at this link.