Early Sunday morning, a man was arrested on a kidnapping charge at the home of WWE’s first out lesbian superstar Sonya Deville. If you’re still in shock from reading that sentence, we understand if you need a minute.
The man, Phillip A. Thomas, travelled from South Carolina to Florida with the intent to kidnap her and take her hostage. He has since been charged with attempted armed kidnapping, armed burglary, and aggravated stalking. While the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office did not release the homeowner’s name, ESPN was able to use public records to find out it was indeed the home of Daria Berenato, aka Sonya Deville. According to reports, Thomas had been planning his actions for around eight months. He stalked the WWE superstar on social media for years.
Details of the crime were also released. And it sounds like a nightmare for any woman who lives alone. Thomas parked his car at a nearby church and walked to the residence. He then cut a hole in a patio screen earlier in the evening and waited for up to four hours. He watched what was going on inside through windows. Around 2:43 a.m., he entered the home through a sliding door. This triggered an alarm, alerting Berenato of the intruder. She fled the house in a car and called 911. Thomas was still inside when officers arrived. He carried zip ties, duct tape, a knife, and “other personal items.” He told officers he planned to take a hostage. Sheriff Chad Chronister released a statement and said Thomas was “clearly on a mission to inflict harm.”
Berenato took to social media late Sunday night to reassure fans that she was safe.
While it does bring some comfort to know she is safe, the mental anguish and emotional toll of an experience like this takes more than a night to heal. We here at AE absolutely love Daria Berenato and she’s in our thoughts as she recovers from something so traumatic.
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