The man who broke into WWE wrestler Sonya Deville’s home and allegedly planned to kidnap her sent her disturbing messages on social media while he watched her through a window, according to a court petition filed by Deville seeking stalking protection.
Phillip A. Thomas II, 24, had driven 500 miles from his home in South Carolina to Florida after plotting the abduction for eight months, police said.
When he got to Deville’s home, he is alleged to have sent her a message that read: ‘Look outside, baby, by your pool. I’m here. I’m gonna kill that little b**** you have inside with you,’ according to the court petition.
In other messages Deville alleges that Thomas said he knew where Deville lived, described sexual acts, made threats against her family and sent her a picture of his penis, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Deville, who has more than a million followers on social media, said in her petition that the messages had filtered into her ‘request’ folder where she has thousands of unread messages from fans.
When the 26-year-old was given Thomas’ details by authorities, she looked up his social media pages and then searched for his name in her message folder.
According to her petition, it was only then that she was able to see the ‘obsessive’ messages sent to her account dating as far back to March 2019.
‘The nature of the messages from this account were obsessive, suicidal, idolizing, saying, “You are the only person I will ever love”,’ Deville wrote in a petition to the court seeking protection from Thomas.
The petition also details how Deville ended up coming face-to-face with Thomas in her home while he was holding a knife and pepper spray after she went to investigate when the alarm went off.
She yelled at him, ‘What are doing, what do you want?’
‘That is when I realized this person was not here to rob me, he was there to hurt me,’ Devville wrote in the court petition.
Deville was at her house with fellow WWE star Mandy Rose. The pair ran to the home’s garage together where they made their escape.
Deville was able to see on surveillance footage from her home security system that ‘he thought I ran up the stairs, leaving me and my friend just enough time to escape.’
Thomas has admitted to authorities that he planned to pepper spray the WWE star and hold her hostage until she answered all of his questions according to a motion to prevent Thomas’ release on bail filed by the prosecution.
‘The defendant admitted that his intention was to take Mrs. Berenato hostage by spraying her (with) pepper spray, binding her hands with the zip ties, and wrapping duct tape around her arms to prevent from fighting back,’ the prosecution motion details.
‘He stated that he intended to keep Mrs. Bernato hostage, preventing her from attending a planned event schedule for the following week, and that he was not going to leave her residence without her answering all of his questions.’
Deville’s petition was successful and she has been granted a temporary injunction against Thomas.
Thomas is alleged to have stalked his victim on social media for many years and sat for hours outside the home watching and listening to Deville and her friend Rose before breaking in, according to the arrest report and prosecutors’ motion.
Thomas was found with a knife, plastic zip ties, duct tape, mace and other items, and told deputies he was planning to take the homeowner hostage, the sheriff’s office said.
On Sunday night, Deville tweeted a thank you message to the sheriff’s office, writing: ‘Thank you everyone for your love and concern. A very frightening experience but thankfully everyone is safe. A special thank you to Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for their response and assistance.’
Thomas remains in jail on charges of armed kidnapping, aggravated stalking and armed burglary of a dwelling, all felonies, and criminal mischief, a misdemeanor.
A hearing is set for Thursday on the prosecution’s motion to prevent him from being released on bail.
According to the police report, Thomas parked his car at a nearby church, walked to the home and cut a hole in a screen to enter the home’s patio, where he stayed for three to four hours watching and listening at the women through the windows.
Thomas is alleged to have got inside the home through a sliding glass door at 2:43am after Deville had gone to bed about an hour and a half earlier. As be broke in, the alarm was set off.
‘There’s a man in the house, we have to go,’ Deville told her friend.
As Deville and Rose fled the house, they left Thomas behind who was still at the home when deputies arrived.
On jail records, Thomas is listed as an Applebee’s crew member. He was being held without bail and records don’t list a lawyer for him.
‘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. He was clearly on a mission to inflict harm.’
On Thomas’ account, which contains mainly retweets and messages about Deville’s latest activities, he can be seen responding to some of her recent tweets.
‘I’m so proud of you Daria you’re a inspiration to me,’ her wrote in response to a tweet on July 30th wrote about her appearance at the GLAAD media awards, a nonprofit founded by LGBTQ people in the media.
Just over a week later, he wrote back to a psychiatrist who had tweeted, ‘#BreakingNews: U R Perfect!’
‘But what if others think I’m not and I have no self confidence or self worth?’ Thomas answered in response. ‘I’m asking for your advice because I need a second opinion on something that could determine what happens next in my life.’
On Sunday, fellow WWE Superstar Titus O’Neil also noted that he had been in contact with Deville to confirm her wellbeing.
‘I have spoken to her and I’m glad she’s safe and I’m thankful and grateful that the sheriff’s office took care of the situation immediately. Celebrity status aside this is sickening.
‘I am a product of a sexual assault and have zero-tolerance or respect for any human being that would violate a person’s privacy and or personal space,’ O’Neil said.
Deville describes herself as the ‘first ever openly gay female in the WWE,’ dubbing herself as ‘The Pride Fighter’.
She also stars in the E! Entertainment reality series Total Divas.