Package bomb suspect ranted on Twitter about liberals, threatened to blow up company


The Twitter account identified by federal officials as likely belonging to the Florida man arrested in connection with the suspected package bombs sent to high-profile figures this week is full of right-wing content and aggressive criticism of prominent liberal figures.

One post believed to have been written by the suspect, 56-year-old Aventura resident Cesar Sayoc, read, “See you soon.” and tagged some of the figures the packages were addressed to, including former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Rep. Maxine Waters.

On Oct. 12, a video was posted to a Facebook account associated with Sayoc, depicting what appears to be the suspect at a Trump rally, yelling, “Trump! Trump! Trump!” along with the crowd. A shorter version of the video was also posted to Twitter.

Twitter has suspended the account, but the social media company declined to comment on the ongoing investigation to ABC News. Facebook also removed the accounts believed to belong to Sayoc.

“There is absolutely no place on our platforms for people who attempt such horrendous acts,” Facebook officials said in a statement to ABC News. “We have found and immediately removed the suspect’s accounts on Facebook and Instagram. We will also continue to remove content that praises or supports the bombing attempt or the suspect as soon as we’re aware.”

Sayoc has an extensive criminal history, a law enforcement source said, and has been arrested at least eight times in Florida alone, court documents show. The arrests range from misdemeanor giving false information to get a refund to grand theft auto.

One of the arrests took place in 2002 when he pleaded guilty for a charge listed as “threaten discharge destructive device.”

In that incident, Sayoc reportedly called Florida Power & Light (FPL) and “threatened to blow up FPL and that ‘it would be worse than September 11th,” court documents state.

He also “threatened that something would happen to the FPL representative if they cut his electricity.”

Sayoc was sentenced to probation for that charge, records show.

In 2014, he was a “road manager for a variety of traveling male revue shows Chippendales International Gold Productions, Cesar Palace Royale Burlesque Show” and he was involved with “the sale of merchandise, coordinating bookings and supervising operations,” the court documents report.

Chippendales denied that Sayoc was ever affiliated with the company.

“Cesar Altieri or Cesar Sayoc, was, and has never been affiliated in any way with Chippendales USA, LLC,” the company said in a statement.

Sayoc filed for bankruptcy in 2012, when he was 50 years old, and the petition stated that he lived with his mother and had no furniture.

He was taken into custody in Florida shortly before noon Friday for allegedly carrying out a mail bombing campaign that gripped the nation. The night before the arrest, around 10:20 p.m., Sayoc had checked into a South Florida gym where he is a member, sources told ABC News.

His capture comes after 14 package bombs were intercepted over the course of the week, with targets including prominent Democrats like former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Multiple law enforcement sources told ABC News that Sayoc was tracked using a cell phone. He was arrested at an AutoZone in the town of Plantation at around 10:30 a.m. Friday. Authorities have recovered a cell phone, a laptop computer and other electronic devices in connection from Sayoc.

Sayoc appeared unperturbed when he was apprehended and led into a police vehicle, witness Paul Smith told ABC Miami affiliate WPLG.

“It almost seemed like he knew he was going to get caught soon and that he was expecting it,” Smith said. “…He was in handcuffs, and he was calmly escorted to the vehicle. I saw him get in, no problem. And he just had that look of, ‘Okay. It’s over.'”

Sayoc’s residence is listed as his mother’s home in Aventura, but he was, for a time, living in the white van covered in stickers of President Donald Trump, which is now being investigated.

A relative of his told ABC News that the family is in shock.

“We’re in shock — just shock,” the relative said. “It’s all very, very hard to process. It’s just a crazy thing.”

Daniel Lurvey, Sayoc’s former attorney who represented him in his grand theft and petty theft charges in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, also expressed surprise that he was arrested for the string of suspicious packages, describing him as “a gentleman” with “no political agenda.”

“He’s as regular, non-political as can be,” Lurvey told ABC News, adding also that he is “somewhat gregarious and friendly.”

Another one of Sayoc’s former attorneys, Miami-based lawyer Ronald Lowy, told ABC News that Sayoc’s mother is a committed democrat and that his alleged behavior is inconsistent with her political views.

The case against Sayoc will be handled by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, according to a senior law enforcement official.

He is scheduled to appear first in the jurisdiction in which he was arrested, the Southern District of Florida, on Monday afternoon.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Friday afternoon that Sayoc was charged with five federal crimes: interstate transportation of an explosive, illegal mailing of explosives, threats against former presidents and certain other persons, threatening interstate communications, and assaulting current and former federal officers.

In total, those charges could lead to 48 years in prison.

“This is a law and order administration. We will not tolerate such lawlessness, especially not political violence,” Sessions said.

Here is the charging document:

Leave a Reply