Sayoc graduated in 1980 from North Miami Beach Senior High. He is seen above in high school
Former classmates of suspected MAGAbomber Cesar Altier Sayoc have described him as a well-liked, softly-spoken child who never got into trouble.
Sayoc, 56, was taken into custody on Friday in Plantation, Florida in connection with the 14 suspicious packages sent to the liberal elite including Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, CNN, former Vice President Joe Biden and Billionaire investor George Soros.
He is a President Trump super-fan who enjoyed bodybuilding and once worked as a male stripper. He was a prolific social media user who promoted wild conspiracy theories targeting the Clintons, former Obama and Muslims on Twitter and Facebook.
But this is not how former classmates remember Sayoc when he attended North Miami Beach Senior High School, where he played soccer and had plenty of friends.
He graduated from the high school in 1980. On his LinkedIn profile, Sayoc said he then attended Brevard College in North Carolina and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and claims to have studied veterinary medicine.
David Templer, who remembered him from high school, told DailyMail.com: ‘I don’t think you will find anyone that knew him back in the day who will suggest this was expected.
‘Cesar was not weird or off in any way that I recall. He and his sister we’re both nice and well-liked. But, like I said, things can change in 40 years… assuming the Feds got it right.’
A former classmate, who asked not to be named, added: ‘All I can tell you is he was a nice boy and I played soccer with him in high school.
Sayoc was a member of North Miami Beach Senior High School’s soccer team. He is seen here in the 1980 yearbook
Sayoc graduated 1980 from North Miami Beach Senior High. Former classmates have described him as well-liked
Sayoc posted a photograph of himself wearing a MAGA hat in front of the US Capitol in 2017
‘He never was in trouble, he was a good kid. He had a younger sister Sabrina.
‘[I’m] very surprised, all of my classmates are in shock. Nice family, he was a quiet kid but had a lot of friends.’
Sheri Holtzman Tapia wrote on Facebook: ‘I remember him being nice and kind of quiet.’
Jamie Grapin Rubenstein added: ‘Super nice guy played soccer.’
And Stuart Collins agreed, writing: ‘I’m shocked too. Really soft spoken nice guy. wtf happened?’
‘He was a nice kid, very quiet,’ Cindy Krantz Grafman added. ‘I cannot believe it!’
It seems the answer to ‘what happened’ may have been answered by his family’s lawyer, Ronald Lowy, Friday night.
Sayoc is a ‘lost and sick individual’ who isolated himself from his family but eventually ‘found a father’ in President Trump, Lowry said.
He was abandoned by his father as a child and ‘told his mother that he hated her’.
‘This was someone lost, he was looking for anything and he found a father in Trump,’ Lowy told CNN.
Sayoc continued to play soccer after enrolling at Brevard College in Brevard, North Carolina. He is seen above (second from left) with teammates in 1982
Brevard is a small, private Methodist college in Western North Carolina. The photo above shows Sayoc fourth from right. It was taken in 1981
Sayoc’s father is Filipino and his mother is Italian. However the steroid-abusing bodybuilder claimed to be of Native American descent because he was trying to create an identity – which he found by becoming obsessed with Trump, Lowy revealed.
‘He doesn’t seem to recognize reality. He lives in a fantasy world,’ Lowy said to local outlets.
‘The signs of mental illness are clearly there’.
Sayoc is charged with five federal crimes, including interstate transportation of an explosive, illegal mailing of explosives, threats against a former president, threatening interstate communications, and assaulting current and former federal officers.
Sayoc will face the charges in federal court in Manhattan after an initial court appearance in Florida. Five of the improvised devices involved in the case were recovered in the Southern District of New York.
The former male stripper has a chequered history, including a criminal past which started nearly 30 years ago and includes arrests in 2002 for threatening to ‘blow up’ Florida Power and Light and an arrest in 1991 for grand theft auto.
Sayoc, 56, was taken into custody on Friday morning in Plantation, Florida in connection with the 14 suspicious packages that have been discovered this week
Sayoc is seen at a Trump rally. He was arrested on Friday in connection with a string of bombs sent through the mail
Lowy, who represented Sayoc in four prior criminal cases, said the suspected mail bomber had trouble articulating concepts and ‘doesn’t live life in a normal way’. He also claimed that Sayoc demonstrated ‘a complete lack of comprehension of reality’.
‘You talk to him and he speaks like a 15-year-old, like a child. This seems like such a sophisticated crime, I have trouble believing he had the mental capacity to create operating bombs’.
Sayoc’s mother found out her son had been arrested when she woke up from surgery Friday, Lowy said.
‘My heart goes out to these people because you couldn’t imagine a more decent and loving family. They did everything they could,’ he said.
Disturbingly, Sayoc’s former boss at a pizza restaurant told how he openly admitted being a ‘white supremacist’ who was anti-gay, anti-Jewish and ‘wanted to purify society’.
Sayoc is charged with five federal crimes, including interstate transportation of an explosive, illegal mailing of explosives, threats against a former president, threatening interstate communications, and assaulting current and former federal officers
Sayoc is a President Trump super-fan who enjoyed bodybuilding and once worked as a male stripper
Sayoc has a chequered history, including a criminal past
Debra Gureghian said Sayoc worked as a delivery driver at New River Pizza & Fresh Kitchen in Fort Lauderdale for more than a year before quit in January.
Gureghian said he told her that because she is a lesbian she is ‘deformed’ and she should be ‘put on an island with all the other gay people and burned.’
She told CNN: ‘I knew he had issues. He really was not, he definitely beat to the beat of his own drum.
‘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.’
He used the same white van that was prominently featured in national news broadcasts and splashed on news sites on Friday to deliver pizzas, she said. The van was adorned with ‘a billion stickers,’ she said.
She explained that at times there were KKK stickers and at least one sticker with a bulls-eye over a photo of Hillary Clinton on the vehicle. Sayoc, she said, ‘loved Adolf Hitler’.
She revealed: ‘If you didn’t fit his profile, you should go to an island and the island should be obliterated,’ said Gureghian, who worked in a civilian role for the Massachusetts State Police for 23 years before moving to Florida.
‘Yes, he called himself a white supremacist and he called himself a Nazi supporter,’ Gurighian replied.
A suspicious package addressed to James Clapper at the Time Warner Center was intercepted by postal inspectors at a Manhattan sorting facility on Friday morning
Cesar Sayoc’s van is seen in Boca Raton, Florida on October 18, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media
Sayoc was living in the van at the time of his arrest, and it was festooned with stickers praising Trump
She added: ‘He said that the people that he labeled were very weak and that he would — that he wanted to purify society.
‘So, in order to do that, he would have to get rid of the gays and the lesbians and the transgenders and the blacks and the Jews and whoever else didn’t follow his suit, whoever else didn’t follow his policy and political views’.
Sayoc told investigators after he was arrested in Plantation that the pipe bombs wouldn’t have hurt anyone, and that he didn’t want to hurt anyone, according to a law enforcement official.
However, Federal authorities said the 14 pipe bombs Sayoc, of Aventura, Florida, allegedly sent through the US mail are real, and were a danger to the people he mailed them to in recent days.
Sayoc was being held Friday night at a federal detention center in Miami.