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Lifestyle & Human Interest

WWE Star Thanks Police Officers After Man Allegedly Breaks Into Her Home with Knife and Zip Ties

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World Wrestling Entertainment star Daria Berenato, known in the ring as Sonya Deville, had an unsettling experience earlier this week when a man broke into her home with the intention of kidnapping her.

Police have arrested a suspect in the case: 24-year-old Phillip A. Thomas II of Cordesville, South Carolina, an Applebee’s crew member who police said had a hobby of following Berenato’s online presence.

A Twitter account that authorities suspect belongs to Thomas is full of content related to Berenato, and Thomas allegedly spent eight months planning the break-in that occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Police said Thomas parked his car at Idle Wild Church, which is close to Berenato’s house in Lutz, Florida.

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He allegedly cut his way through a screen and hid out on the patio for hours until the occupants of the house went to bed, CBS News reported.

At 2:43 a.m., Thomas allegedly opened a sliding glass door and sneaked in — only to set off an alarm.

Thankfully, the alarm woke Berenato, and while she saw him through the window and called police, she and her guest were able to leave in a car, police said.

Thomas was allegedly still on the premises when the police arrived, and he was arrested. The items that police said they found on him were chilling.

“SCARY!” the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook.

“This man, Phillip A. Thomas II, broke into a home in Lutz. He was carrying a knife, plastic zip ties, duct tape, and mace. Fortunately, the homeowner’s alarm went off and they were able to runaway and call 911.”

“Deputies arrested Thomas, who was still inside the home, and through the investigation process learned he traveled from South Carolina to Lutz, specifically targeting this homeowner who he didn’t know, but stalked on social media for years.”

The alleged intruder has been charged with armed burglary of a dwelling, aggravated stalking, attempted armed kidnapping and criminal mischief.

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“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 a statement, according to WTSP-TV.

“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.”

While authorities did not initially identify the WWE star as the target, Berenato tweeted about the incident.

WWE Star Thanks Police Officers After Man Allegedly Breaks Into Her Home with Knife and Zip Ties
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“Thank you everyone for your love and concern,” she wrote. “A very frightening experience but thankfully everyone is safe.

“A special thank you to Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for their response and assistance.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking