(FLORIDA) — WWE star Sonya Deville is thanking the officers who helped foil an armed, would-be kidnapper.
ESPN reports that Deville, born Daria Berenato, was targeted by a man named Phillip Thomas who had spent the better part of the year stalking her online.
According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department, Thomas journeyed to the 26-year-old wrester’s home in Florida on Sunday. There, he hid on her property for four hours until he knew she had fallen asleep.
Around 3 a.m. ET, Thomas then slipped onto her patio after cutting a hole in the screen and made his way inside. Thankfully, he didn’t account for her security system and triggered it.
The alarm woke the Total Divas star who then spotted her would-be kidnapper fleeing the scene.
Thomas was later arrested and pressed with a litany of charges, such as armed burglary, attempted armed kidnapping, aggravating stalking and criminal mischief.
According to the police report, Thomas was carrying “a knife, plastic zip ties, duct tape, mace and other items” when he was apprehended.
Sheriff Chad Chronister added in a statement, “Our deputies are unveiling the suspect’s disturbing obsession with this homeowner who he had never met, but stalked on social media for years.”
“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. Our deputies arrived within minutes and arrested this man who was clearly on a mission to inflict harm,” added Chronister.
Deville has since thanked her fans for their support, tweeting on Sunday, “A very frightening experience but thankfully everyone is safe.” She also thanked the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for “their response and assistance.”
Deville, who is openly gay, is currently starring in WWE’s SmackDown on Fox.
By Megan Stone
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