Madeline Sayoc, the mother of 56-year-old Cesar Sayoc, penned a letter to ABC News in which she said that the actions that have thrust him into the national spotlight do not reflect how he was brought up. Cesar stands charged with mailing over a dozen suspicious packages to politicians, media figures, and celebrities who have been publicly critical of President Trump. His mother explained that he has been mentally ill “for a long time.”
Madeline Sayoc’s attorney delivered the letter to ABC News. She said that she was in surgery when the news about her son hit the airwaves. She learned about what he had done when she awoke following that surgery. She said that she hasn’t spoken to him for over four years and described herself as “deeply hurt, sad, shocked, and confused” about his actions, adding that, “this is not how I raised him or my children.” She also addressed his struggles with mental illness.
“My son has been ill for a long time and my family and I have tried, over and over again, without success to urge him to get the help he needs. We, in America, have a mental health crisis in this country and need to change laws to allow families to compel and require mental health treatment for those in need of such treatment before their illness worsens to where it is too late.”
— ABC News (@ABC) November 5, 2018
Madeline Sayoc also called for President Trump and other leaders to consider how their words affect other people and that some may view words they say as “license to violently act out in our country.” She singled out the use of phrases like “War with the Media” and “War with the Democrats” that some may view as a call to violence against these groups of people and referred to Senator John McCain as an example of someone who believed that political disagreements should not divide Americans who all want a safe country in which to live.
Despite the fact that Cesar Sayoc had not lived with his mother for many years, her Florida home address is listed as his official address. He is believed to have been living in a white van covered in political stickers. He appeared in a Miami court on Friday. He waived his right to a pretrial detention hearing and agreed on a transfer of his case to New York. He faces multiple federal criminal charges including interstate transportation of an explosive, illegal mailing of explosives, threats against former presidents, and assaulting current and former federal officers.