Mail-bomb suspect Sayoc worked as male stripper, had criminal past
The arrest of 56-year-old Cesar Altieri Sayoc Jr., the man suspected of having sent mail bombs to several Trump critics including Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama, has raised more questions than it has answered. With Federal investigators still exploring questions of motive, Americans have been left wondering what drove Sayoc to manufacture and mail bombs, despite the risk of arrest. Here's more.
While much remains opaque about Sayoc, it has been found that his father hailed from the Philippines while his mother was from Brooklyn. Sayoc fell out with his mother, and was raised by his grandparents. He had short stints at the Brevard College and the University of North Carolina in 1980 and 1983 respectively, but never graduated. It's also known that he had a passion for soccer.
After his college years, Sayoc reportedly developed an obsession with body building and worked as a male stripper for a while. Subsequently, he also worked as a manager for "male revue shows", and reportedly had a lot of money, most of which he lost. It's not known where the money came from, and how he lost it. In 2012, Sayoc filed for bankruptcy.
In his bankruptcy filing, which listed assets worth $4,175, and liabilities worth $21,109, Sayoc declared that he lived with his mother and had no furniture. In reality however, Sayoc, for several years, had been living out of a white van, which was a regular presence in the parking lot of a mall in Aventura, Florida. The van itself was covered in ultra-right-wing and pro-Trump stickers.
As is evident from Sayoc's van, the man was a Republican supporter, and was also registered with the Grand Old Party, according to the New York Times. A vocal supporter of Trump with abundant animosity towards his critics, Sayoc is also seen at a Trump rally wearing a red "Make America Great Again" cap in photos he posted on social media.
Sayoc's politics also reflected in his social media activity, wherein he regularly posted on right-wing groups and threatened Trump critics and Democrats. Using his now-suspended Twitter handle, @hardrock2016, Sayoc posted several tweets subtly threatening Democrats like US Representative Maxine Waters and former Vice-President Joe Biden. The Obamas, Clintons, billionaire philanthropist George Soros, and several Florida politicians were also frequent targets of Sayoc's online ire.
Notably, Sayoc has an extensive criminal record dating back to 1992, when he was arrested over an unspecified crime. Since then, Sayoc had been arrested at least 10 other times. While most of the arrests were for petty crimes like shoplifting, he was also charged with serious crimes like battery, possession of drugs etc. In 2002, Sayoc also threatened to blow up a power company over a bill.