Cesar Sayoc, the suspected pipe bomber who sent explosive devices to prominent Democrats last week, allegedly said that his lesbian boss “should burn in hell.”
Restaurant manager Debra Gureghian, Sayoc‘s boss at New River Pizza in Fort Lauderdale, told CNN that Sayoc, a former delivery driver, “had issues” and was “anti-gay.” Sayoc worked at the pizzeria until this past January when he quit for unknown reasons. Gureghian described him as a “model employee” who had a “cordial” public persona, but who also had extreme political views that “scared” her.
“I knew he had issues,” Gureghian told CNN’s Kate Bolduan. “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.”
Gureghian went on to say that Sayoc knew she was gay and took it upon himself to share his homophobic opinions.
“He knew I was a lesbian and a very proud lesbian. And he made it a point to tell me that God had made a mistake with me and that I should burn in hell,” she said.
Gureghian added that while his comments deeply disturbed and offended her, she chose to “turn the other cheek” and to keep him on as a driver, since he performed his duties well and did not show a propensity toward violence—at least not on the job. She reported being “shellshocked” to discover that Sayoc, her former employee, was the suspect in last week’s pipe bomb mailings.
Sayoc is accused of sending a dozen pipe bombs to high-profile Democrats such as President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and billionaire philanthropist and political analyst George Soros, as well as to CNN’s New York headquarters. After being arrested, his white Dodge van was found to be emblazoned with alt-right political stickers and images of President Trump.
If convicted, Sayoc faces more than 50 years in federal prison.