Skip to main content

Alleged abductor denied $2 million bail in Sonya Deville case


Image: Martha Asencio Rhine / Tampa Bay Times

The man accused of trying to kidnap WWE wrestler Daria Berenato (Sonya Deville) was denied bail Thursday and will continue to remain in jail as he was deemed a threat to the community.

24-year-old Phillip Thomas II is accused of trying to kidnap Berenato from her Lutz, Florida, home early Sunday morning after traveling from South Carolina. He was armed with a knife and pepper spray and, according to investigators, had sent hundreds of threatening social media messages to Berenato prior to his arrest. He had sent one such message moments before the break-in, saying he was outside by her pool.

Thomas is charged with aggravated stalking, armed burglary of a dwelling, and attempted armed kidnapping. He allegedly had started planning the abduction eight months ago.

Thomas' public defense lawyer was looking for $2 million bail (which the lawyer admitted he could not afford) and for him to be monitored with an electronic device, but was denied by Hillsborough Circuit Judge Catherine Catlin. She said, “I don’t see any way we can protect our community in Hillsborough County if we give him bail. A GPS on him gives me no peace of mind. A GPS monitor does nothing for me.”

In court, Berenato testified that she was sleeping and was awoken by her house alarm and then awoke house guest Mandy Rose (Amanda Saccomanno). The two went downstairs and saw Thomas on the back porch dressed in black with a black face covering. She said he began approaching and the two got in her car but were initially unable to start it due to their mental state. Berenato then called 911 while driving away. Authorities arrested Thomas inside of her home afterward.

Deville and Rose are still scheduled to have a hair vs. hair match at this Sunday's WWE SummerSlam.