TAMPA (WFLA) – The man accused of traveling 450 miles in a plot to kidnap WWE superstar Sonya Deville in Lutz and carry out a hostage scenario he had been planning for more than eight months will be kept behind bars without bail.
“This man poses an ongoing danger to the victim and to public safety as a whole,” Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren said. “There’s a high bar when we ask for someone to be held without bond. But the facts of this case send a shiver down your spine—and it’s clear this man needs to stay behind bars until he can face justice.”
Deputies said Phillip Thomas had been stalking WWE star Sonya Deville, for the past few years on social media. Thomas reportedly admitted he traveled to Florida overnight with plans to take the former UCF fighter hostage.
The suspect reportedly parked his car at Idle Wild Church earlier in the night, walked up to the home in the Promenade at Lake Park subdivision, and cut a hole in the patio screen. Deputies said he waited there for about three to four hours, watching and listening through the windows.
After the Deville went to bed, Thomas allegedly opened the back sliding glass door, which activated the home alarm. The wrestling star looked outside the window and spotted an individual on the property, prompting her to flee the home in a car and call 911.
When deputies arrived, they found Thomas inside the home. He was reportedly carrying a knife, plastic zip ties, duct tape and mace. The sheriff’s office said Thomas admitted to deputies he was planning on taking Deville hostage.
Judge Catlin ruled Thomas be held without bond until his case is resolved or a trial takes place.
“I don’t see how I can protect the community. A GPS monitor gives me no peace of mind,” Judge Catlin said.
Thomas has been charged with aggravated stalking, armed burglary, attempted kidnapping, and criminal mischief.