The Trump super fan arrested for mailing pipe bombs to prominent Dems was a Jekyll and Hyde personality who bounced between bouts of rage, hate and flights of fancy, according to court records and those who knew him.
Cesar Sayoc Jr. has spent a lifetime on the edge of reality, unable to keep a job or a roof over his head and repeatedly running afoul of the law.
A Chippendales dancer, an arena football player, owner of a dry cleaner, and even a soccer player for Italy’s legendary A.C. Milan club, Sayoc claims to have done it all.
Yet when authorities hauled him away in handcuffs outside a Florida auto parts store on federal explosives charges that could land him behind bars for 48 years, the steroid-abusing Sayoc was living in his van, friends and neighbors said.
Those who crossed him were shown a dark side: in more than a decade of trying to make it as a stripper, he allegedly violently threatened fellow performers, according to reports.
On the strip club circuit, his apparent weapons of choice included a syringe filled with HIV-infected blood, and tuna can lids strapped to his boots so he could “take out” another male dancer by stomping on the man’s face, colleagues told TMZ.
An array of his mugshots over the decades show the most consistent thread in Sayoc’s tumultuous 56 years: run-ins with the law dating back to the 1990s, with a rap sheet encompassing drug charges, using a fake driver’s license, theft and domestic violence.
In 1994, an older female relative, possibly his grandmother, filed a domestic violence complaint against Sayoc, the Miami Herald reported. Viola Altieri, who later tried to withdraw her complaint, died in 2006.
The Cesar Sayoc staring out from a 2002 mugshot — mouth open, curly hairline receding, wife-beater top baring his bulging neck — pleaded guilty to threatening to blow up the local power company for shutting off his electricity.
“I obviously think this person is not well,” a now retired investigator who worked on the 2002 case told CBS Miami Saturday.
But if you asked Sayoc, as lawyers did for a 2014 deposition in a Florida lawsuit, he was a giant success.
“I worked for Tootsie’s, produced them $13 million in lap dances,” he crowed. A manager for the male strip club couldn’t confirm the claim.
“I owned a club and I am partners in the Chippendales,” Sayoc professed. The company has said Sayoc never worked there.
“No one dresses as crisp and fresh as me,” he noted, recalling club managers who would discipline workers for not dressing professionally — and who yelled at him for changing in the club’s parking lot.
He once played soccer for the legendary AC Milan in Italy, he told the lawyers, and also joined professional arena football team the Arizona Rattlers. The Rattlers had never heard of Sayoc, according to a report. There’s no record of Sayoc ever playing for AC Milan.
It wasn’t just supposed professional accomplishments that set Sayoc — who is of Italian and Filipino descent but repeatedly claimed to be a Seminole Indian — apart in his own mind.
His mom was a local elected official in Aventura, Fla., and his grandfather Balthazar, an alleged plastic surgeon, “built all the hospitals in the Philippine Islands.”
“Wow,” the lawyer deposing Sayoc responded.
The muscle-bound man who couldn’t make it as a pro wrestler was, according to his own opinion, a classroom wiz, earning “three degrees” in business, finance and biology.
“I want to become a horse doctor,” Sayoc rambled.
But at some point the fantasies turned to hate.
Debra Gureghian hired Sayoc last year to deliver pizzas in Fort Lauderdale.
She said that his infamous van, which was papered with pro-Trump slogans and threatening images toward the president’s critics, was so bad she would only let him work nights.
He also kept bottles of liquor, dirty laundry and beheaded Barbie dolls in the vehicle, she said.
“He was anti-gay, anti-black, anti-Jewish, you name it, everybody that really wasn’t white and wasn’t a white supremacist didn’t belong in the world, that’s what he used to say to me all the time,” Gureghian told CNN.
Sayoc would tell Gureghian, a lesbian, that she was “deformed” and should be “put on an island with all the other gay people and burned,” she said.
His family was stunned Friday to see Sayoc charged with sending 14 pipe bombs to well-known Democrats, including billionaire George Soros, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, former US Attorney General Eric Holder, and others, his aunt told the Daily Mail.
“I almost fainted. I couldn’t believe it. I was hysterical,” Theresa Sharp-Russell, 74, said.
Sayoc was “always a good kid when he was growing up,” said Sharp-Russell, sister of Sayoc’s mom, Madeline. “But then he just became a loner and rejected his family. We hardly saw him for years on end. When he came back, he needed a lot of help and we tried but he didn’t take it.”
“I can’t begin to tell you how the family is feeling. My sister is in the hospital, she’s very sick. She never ever thought about something like this. Neither did we,” Sharp-Russell said.
“We are flabbergasted that he did this. He wasn’t a killer. I don’t think he owned a gun. The only problem he had was steroids,” she said.
Sharp-Russell admitted she hadn’t talked to her nephew in more than 10 years, but said he was “never political” in his youth.
“He wanted an identity, he didn’t know who he was.
“I guess when he went to the Trump rallies, he felt at home with people like that.”
Even though FBI Director Chris Wray insisted the devices allegedly sent through the mail by Sayoc were dangerous, his aunt hopes Sayoc “didn’t mean to hurt anybody. … But you don’t do that.
I’m 100 percent against what he did. But he did it and now he has to pay the consequences.”
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