MAN WITH A VAN
Cesar Sayoc Jr., Alleged Mail Bomber, Threatened Democrats on Twitter
The 56-year-old Florida man—a former male stripper—has a significant criminal history and frequently posted far-right conspiracy theories about Trump’s opponents.
Cesar A. Sayoc, the Florida man reported to be the mail bombing suspect, frequently posted conspiratorial pro-Trump messages on Twitter or made threats to Democratic leaders, including some who would later receive potentially explosive devices in the mail this week.
Sayoc—who was named by several national media outlets as the man authorities arrested Friday in connection with the attempted bombings—tweeted frequently from what appears to be his account: @hardrock2016.
The account and his Facebook profile, which feature pictures of Sayoc, 56, at Trump rallies, also contain some of the same images plastered to Sayoc’s van, including flags for Florida’s Seminole tribe and collages of pro-Trump and anti-CNN meme stickers.
The Facebook account is almost exclusively pro-Trump content, including pictures and videos Sayoc purportedly filmed at one of the president’s political rallies. And the Twitter feed is littered with far-right conspiracy theories or violent threats aimed at some of President Trump’s most outspoken critics.
He appears to have repeatedly tweeted about George Soros, the liberal billionaire philanthropist who has long been the target of far-right, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
At one point, Sayoc purportedly wrote “you will vanish” in a tweet aimed at the billionaire. Soros received a suspicious package at his Westchester County, N.Y. home on Monday—the first of at least 12 mailed to liberal public figures this week.
Other tweets falsely claimed the February 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, was a false-flag operation orchestrated by Soros and his liberal allies.
The account also frequently posted angry messages about Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, whose name was listed as the return address on the mailed pipe bombs.
Other prominent liberal activists—including Parkland survivor David Hogg and former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick—are targeted in his tweets.
“Antifa your next [sic],” the account threatened anti-fascist protesters in one particularly violent tweet that included images of what appears to be dead people killed by a python.
Additionally, the account has tweeted violent threats and pictures of death at Sarah Jeong, a New York Times opinion columnist who became the subject of a right-wing troll mob this summer over her old tweets being perceived as “anti-white.”
Sayoc’s purported Twitter account also sent a gory image of a beheaded goat to comedian Jim Carrey, an outspoken Trump critic, ominously adding: “We will see you real soon.”
Other tweets criticized immigrants or promoted ISIS violence, praising the terrorist group for killing gay men. Elsewhere, he seems to have shared anti-Muslim memes.
The account also posted video of what appears to be Sayoc himself chanting Trump’s name at what looks like an indoor Trump rally. On his now-deleted Facebook page, Sayoc posted images of the press area at a Trump rally, focusing on the TV reporters reporting to-camera.
The Florida man has a significant criminal history and was previously charged with making a bomb threat in 2002. The ruling in that case was not immediately clear on Friday. Sayoc was also convicted of theft in 2014 and 2013, and battery in 2013, public records show.
In 2012, he filed for bankruptcy, and declared in court filings that he lived with his mother.
Ohio event planner Tony Valentine, whose real name is Tony Johnson, confirmed to The Daily Beast that Sayoc was a stripper who he met “once or twice” during the '90s.
“I have been getting harassed all morning, I don't know how you guys got my number. I have nothing else to say but I will confirm he was a stripper for you,” Valentine said, later adding: “I am in the middle of my doctor’s office and everyone keeps calling me about this fuck-all stripper Cesar."
Valentine, who owns Valentine Productions, also confirmed having written a letter on Sayoc’s behalf during his alleged 2014 theft case, calling the then-stripper “a vital part” of his club business.
He later confessed that he “never should have written that letter.”