WASHINGTON, OCtober 27: Cesar Sayoc is an amateur body builder and former stripper, a loner with a long arrest record who showed little interest in politics until Donald Trump came along.
On Friday, he was identified by authorities as the Florida man who put pipe bombs in small manila envelopes, affixed six stamps and sent them to some of Trump’s most prominent critics.
His arrest capped a week in which the bombs aimed at some of America’s biggest names — Obama, Clinton, De Niro — dominated the news and invited speculation about who might be responsible for them. The answer, authorities said, was Sayoc, a 56-year-old man from Aventura, Florida, who was devoted to Trump, had a history of financial problems and an extensive arrest record, including a stint on probation for making a bomb threat.
His attorney in that 2002 case, Ronald Lowy, described Sayoc as “a confused man who had trouble controlling his emotions.”
A cousin of Sayoc, Lenny Altieri, used stronger terms.
“I know the guy is a lunatic,” Altieri told the Associated Press. “He has been a loner.”
Altieri confirmed that Sayoc had been a stripper. On an online resume, Sayoc described himself as a booker and promoter for burlesque shows.
Stacy Saccal, the general manager of the Ultra Gentlemen’s Club in West Palm Beach, said Sayoc had worked there for about two months, first as a floor bouncer and for the past month as a disc jockey — most recently on Thursday night, hours before his arrest Friday morning.
“I didn’t know this guy was mad crazy like this,” she said Friday. “Never once did he speak politics. This is a bar.
We don’t talk politics or religion in a bar, you know?”
Florida voter records show Sayoc first registered in March 2016 as a Republican and cast a ballot in that November’s presidential election.
He has been an active Trump supporter, tweeting and posting Facebook videos that appear to show him at the president’s rallies.
Sayoc’s social media accounts are peppered with memes supporting Trump, and denigrating Democrats.
Sayoc lived in a white 2002 Dodge Ram van, which was plastered with stickers supporting Trump and criticizing media outlets that included CNN, which was also targeted by mail bombs.