Cesar Sayoc was captured by law enforcement Friday (Oct. 26) after sending the FBI on a week-long frenzy for sending suspicious packages believed to be bombs to leading Democrats. The 56-year-old Florida native will appear before a judge in Miami on Monday afternoon. (Oct. 29)
Sayoc’s former attorney Ronald Lowy spoke with the Washington Post about the first time he met Sayoc and described him as a peculiar man. While Sayoc has a Filipino and Italian background, he often claimed to be Native American, specifically apart of the Seminole tribe.
“He made up stories in order to try to impress people,” Lowy said. “He felt like he didn’t have a background that he respected or liked,” Lowy said.
Sayoc would dabble in bodybuilding and also tell people he was a former Chippendale’s dancer. He was a DJ and bodyguard at a strip club, but for the past decade lived inside a van that became a bit of an eyesore around Boca Raton.
Described as a man who didn’t really care too much about politics, and from a family that leaned more to the left side of the political aisle, when Donald Trump began campaigning Sayoc suddenly became emboldened.
“[He] had no interest in politics, was always at the night clubs, the gyms, wherever he thought he could meet people, impress people. And along came the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, who welcomed all extremists, all outsiders, all outliers, and he felt that somebody was finally talking to him,” Lowy said.
In 2016 Sayoc registered as a Republican and for the first time ever voted in a presidential election. His aunt, Theresa Sharp-Russell said Sayoc’s dad wasn’t in his life and may have played a larger role in his admiration for Trump.
“He’s a poor soul and probably just wanted attention. Maybe he figured Trump was a stand-in father.”
Attorney General Jeff Session said Sayoc was charged with five federal crimes along with the interstate transportation of an explosive, the illegal mailing of explosives and making a threat against a former president.