Posted on: March 1, 2023, 07:46h.
Last updated on: March 1, 2023, 07:46h.
WWE superstar Sonya Deville was arrested at the Borgata in Atlantic City last month, after a gun was found inside the wrestler’s vehicle by the casino valet who parked it. The story was broken on Wednesday by TMZ, which discovered the court documents.
According to a statement released Wednesday, Atlantic City police arrested Deville — whose real name is Daria Berenato — on February 19 without incident. When they arrived on the scene, according to the police statement, she produced a permit for possessing the handgun, but that permit was not valid in New Jersey.
Deville, 29, reportedly purchased the weapon for personal protection after a 24-year-old man allegedly attempted to kidnap her during a 2020 home break-in, TMZ reported, citing sources. The gun is registered in Florida, Deville’s home state.
Deville was released on a summons after being charged with unlawful possession of a weapon. She’s due back in court later this month.
According to an unnamed WWE spokesperson quoted by Wrestling Inc., Berenato was in AC celebrating her recent engagement to fitness model Toni Cassano. The valet attendant searched her car in an attempt to verify its owner, and found the gun in its glove box.
Berenato became the first openly gay female wrestler in the WWE when she came out in an unplanned moment on Season 6 of the USA Network’s “WWE Tough Enough” reality TV competition series in 2015.
“With a background in MMA, Deville uses her knowledge of striking and submission holds to ground and pound her opposition into defeat,” reads her bio on the WWE website. “Whether Deville is competing inside the cage or the squared circle, she looks right at home as she fires off lightning-quick combinations that leave her foes wondering what just hit them.”
While Deville hasn’t released any statement on the incident, her upcoming match with Charlotte Flair is apparently still a go for Madison Square Garden on March 12. The match announcement was tweeted by the New York City venue on Wednesday.
Deville last appeared on TV during the February 10 edition of “WWE SmackDown,” where she wrestled in a tag match alongside Chelsea Green against Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez. Since then, Berenato has wrestled in several live matches, including some that would have occurred after her arrest.