A man said to be 56-years-old was arrested on Friday morning in connection with a series of 12 mailed bombs sent to prominent Democratic politicians and media personalities, CBS News and other media outlets have reported. According to the CBS report posted on the CBS This Morning Twitter account, a “loud explosion” was heard and there was “some sort of confrontation” during the arrest, which took place in or near Plantation, Florida.
UPDATE: The suspect has been named by police as Cesar Sayoc, Jr., according to MSNBC. The TV station Lex18 News reported that Sayoc is a “Florida resident who used to live in New York.” See the Inquistr report with further details on Sayoc.
CBS also reported that the suspect owned a van plastered with political messages, though the nature of those messages was not yet clear as of about noon on Friday, Eastern Time. Unconfirmed reports on Twitter said that the van was covered with bumper stickers bearing messages supporting Donald Trump, as well as other right-wing slogans. Whether the man was a resident of Plantation, Florida, or a transient was also not yet known, according to reporting by CBS News.
According to The Miami Herald, however, the man hails from Aventura, Florida, and the arrest took place at an AutoZone retail outlet in Plantation at 801 S State Road 7.
On Friday morning, two more devices were discovered, addressed to New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper — both prominent critics of Donald Trump — according to a Fox News report.
— Bruce Maduri (@BruceMaduri) October 26, 2018
The 56-year-old man had not been charged as of Friday morning. CBS News reported that investigators were led to the man by DNA evidence found on one of the mailed explosive devices.
According to a report on Twitter by Darryl Forges, a reporter for Miami TV station NBC 6, that man’s van being towed away by police, “is filled with pro-Trump bumper stickers.”
About two hours before the arrest, Trump posted a message on his own Twitter account in which he appeared to suggest that the mailing of the pipe bombs was somehow timed to distract attention from the upcoming midterm elections and to hurt Republican chances. In the Twitter post, Trump put the word “bomb” in quotation marks.
“Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this ‘Bomb’ stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows — news not talking politics,” Trump wrote. “Very unfortunate, what is going on. Republicans, go out and vote!”
Trump was expected to make a public statement, other than his Twitter message, about the arrest sometime on Friday morning.
I will be speaking at the Young Black Leadership Summit in 15 minutes where I will address the investigation into the bomb packages.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 26, 2018
The Justice Department was also expected to hold a press conference regarding the arrest at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time.