Estranged from his family, mail bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc Jr "found a father" in President Donald Trump
Ronald Lowy, a lawyer representing the family of Cesar Sayoc Jr, said the family believes that he has been mentally ill for 20 years
Cesar Sayoc Jr, the 56-year-old man arrested in Florida in connection with a mail-bombing campaign aimed at critics of US President Donald Trump, is mentally ill and estranged from his family, according to a lawyer representing his mother and stepfather.
Miami lawyer Ronald Lowy said that Sayoc Jr has listed as his address the Aventura condominium where his mother and stepfather reside but doesn't live there, TC Palm reported.
“Cesar estranged himself from the family years ago, has no communication with his father for decades, has told his mother that he hates her,” Lowy said. “He doesn’t seem to recognize reality. He lives in a fantasy world.”
Lowy said the family believes Sayoc has been mentally ill for 20 years.
“He lives out of his vehicle. The signs of mental illness are clearly there,” Lowy said. “If you’re living out of your car for years you’re sick.”
Later speaking to CNN, Lowy said that he had represented Sayoc in the past as well, and that he is someone who seemed lost and needed help. "He was looking for anything, and he found a father in Trump," Lowy said, pointing out that his own father had "abandoned him as a child" and "he was trying to create an identity."
An outspoken supporter of the Republican president, with his Twitter and Facebook pages filled with pro-Trump and anti-Democratic content, Sayoc was attracted to his messages of reaching out to “outsiders” and “people who are angry at America.” A footage of him from 2017 marching at a Trump rally with an anti-CNN sign has also been uncovered.
President Trump, who called for national unity following the incidents, also blamed the media for playing a huge part in the bipartisan issues. At a rally in Charlottesville on Friday, he said the media is currently using Sayoc and his criminal activities to antagonize him and the Republican party.
The Justice Department announced Friday that the Aventura, Fla. resident has been arrested outside an auto parts store near Fort Lauderdale for allegedly sending explosives to over a dozen Democratic leaders, including the former president Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Democratic nominee for the last presidential elections, Hilary Clinton. The four bombs discovered on Friday were addressed to New Jersey Democratic senator cory booker, former director of national intelligence James R Clapper, California Democratic senator Kamala Harris.
He has been charged with five federal crimes and is facing up to 48 years in prison. His white van, which was covered in pro-Trump and other political stickers, including one that read "CNN sucks,” has also been taken into custody.
Sayoc is a registered Republican from South Florida who was born in Brooklyn, New York, before moving to Florida as a child. A 1980 graduate of North Miami Beach High School, Sayoc has a lengthy criminal and court record in Florida, as per the court and criminal records acquired by The Associated Press.
These charges vary from grand theft for which he was convicted in the 1990s in Broward County, stolen property, fraudulent refunds and misdemeanor of tampering with physical evidence, traffic charges and a threat to "throw, place, project or discharge any destructive device,” from 2002 after he made a bomb threat “worse than 9-11" against a Florida utility representative.
“He was always cordial, courteous and professional,” TC Palm quotes Daniel Lurvey, a Miami-Dade defense attorney who represented Sayoc in two theft cases in 2013 and 2014, as saying, “We talked a little bit about his work, and I remember him referring to an association with the Chippendale dancers." Chippendale has claimed that Sayoc has never been associated with them.
Cesar Sayoc at one of your rallies! pic.twitter.com/exFUciYPs2— Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) October 26, 2018
In August 2002, he was sentenced for the last crime as per his lawyer Lowy. In November of the same year a judge signed a discharge certificate, after which he served a one-year probation period. According to Lowly, at the time Sayoc had no apparent bomb-making abilities or political awareness, and was working as a body builder. TC Palm quotes Lowy as saying that it was an empty threat that was made "when he was frustrated at a lack of service."
Having owed over $20,000 to creditors – mostly banks – Sayoc filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2012. He was living with his mother at the time and had a total employment income of $7,500 the year before. According to the court records, he had also collected about $16,000 in unemployment between 2009 and 2010. He lost his Fort Lauderdale home in a foreclosure in September 2009.
Details on Bombing suspect arrested in Plantation Florida, Cesar Sayoc Jr.— Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) October 26, 2018
Cesar Altieri Sayoc Jr.
He has been arrested in the past for Larceny, Grand Theft, Battery, and Bomb Threats.
He is a Trump Supporter who has attend rallies.
He wears a MAGA hat (see photo) #MAGABomber pic.twitter.com/9XV4kMKxB5
Interestingly, he used to also work as a DJ at Ultra Gentleman's Club in West Palm Beach, the strip club at which Trump accuser Stormy Daniels performed in April.
He has been working there for two months, even going in on Thursday, a night before his arrest. Lenny Altieri, Sayoc's cousin, has stated that he also used to work as a stripper at various strip clubs, and has apparently been conscious about working out and keeping his body in shape.