A MAN carrying a knife, duct tape, mace and plastic zip ties, has been arrested for breaking into a home owned by WWE star Daria Berenato.
Phillip A. Thomas II was lying in wait for the individual inside the home, which belongs the 26-year-old, who performs under the name Sonya Deville, for up to four hours.
Thomas, from South Carolina, had stalked Berenato for years on social media, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
He started planning the abduction eight months ago, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said.
Officials did not identify the victim, but publicly available arrest records and property records show the home is owned by Berenato, Fox reported.
Thomas parked his car around 12pm at Idlewild Church off Dale Mabry Highway and Van Dyke Road in Lutz and walked to a home on Pine Hammock Boulevard in the Promenade at Lake Park subdivision, the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
He cut a hole in the patio screen and waited on the patio for three to four hours while watching and listening through the windows.
At 2.43am, after the homeowner had gone to bed, Thomas entered the house through a sliding glass door, which activated the alarm.
The homeowner looked out of the window and spotted Thomas, and left the house along with a guest, calling 911.
Thomas, who is an Applebee’s crew member, was still in the house when the cops arrived, and was found carrying a knife, plastic zip ties, duct tape, mace and other items and told deputies he was planning to take the homeowner hostage.
“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.”
He has been charged with aggravated stalking, armed burglary of a dwelling, attempted armed kidnapping, and criminal mischief and is being held without bail.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, a Twitter account in Thomas’s name, @Phillip80400010, contained messages about Berenato’s latest activities, including retweets from her account Saturday about upcoming WWE events.
July 30, he responded to one of Deville’s tweets about her appearance at the GLAAD media awards, a nonprofit founded by LGBTQ people in the media.
“I’m so proud of you Daria you’re a inspiration to me,” his tweet said.