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Authorities apprehended a suspect, 56-year-old Cesar Sayoc, in the recent rash of packages containing pipe bombs sent to prominent Democrats and critics of President Donald Trump on Friday.
In addition to having a criminal record, Sayoc was found to have been actively pushing right-wing conspiracy theories on various social media platforms that targeted George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and others who received packages. he was also a fervent Trump supporter.
Sayoc, who reportedly lives in Aventura, Fla. also had a telling history of lobbing threats on Twitter; but even when those threats were reported, Twitter inexplicably failed to act.
In the days and weeks ahead, we’ll likely learn more about Sayoc and what motivated him to act on his social media threats. But as the news broke Friday, and photos of the van that Sayoc had apparently been living in was blasted across news outlets, people got a pretty good idea of his motivations, loud and clear.
After authorities took the bomb suspect into custody, many people couldn't help but notice his white van -- its windows covered in eye-catching political stickers, including images of Trump and others https://t.co/qEMswq0l60 pic.twitter.com/GiCIkn2pbp— CNN (@CNN) October 27, 2018
In addition to eye-catching stickers and printouts of Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, the graphic images in the windows of the van featured revealing photos of liberals and Democrats such as Clinton, Michael Moore, and others with cross-hairs placed over the faces. Yet somehow, for years Sayoc managed to slip through the cracks.
Thankfully, as none of the explosive devices ended up going off and no one was hurt, people were able to make jokes about the ridiculous van, and the most popular meme on Twitter seems to be comparing it to a terrible ice cream truck.
The ice cream van for old racists pic.twitter.com/ZAeZulNbee— 🍦 𝐈𝐜𝐞 𝐂𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐦 𝐃𝐚𝐧 🍦 (@TheGiftOfMayhem) October 26, 2018
Um I guess I’ll take a “CNN Sucks” push-up pop pic.twitter.com/TKiJ8O1Nfo— Daley Haggar (@d_haggar) October 26, 2018
Ice cream truck comparisons aside, there were plenty of other jokes and memes to go around:
This van looks like what Steve Bannon would turn into if he was a Transformer pic.twitter.com/09jB3pJi56— EL GLIKO (@ElGliko) October 26, 2018
Me trying to get a fitted sheet on the bed: pic.twitter.com/EzjYFSAx9P— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) October 26, 2018
this van is like if Pixar made another Cars movie and cast Steve Bannon pic.twitter.com/mnYxg0HwoC— Matt Oswalt (@MattOswaltVA) October 26, 2018
When the outside of the Cesar Sayoc van matches the inside of Sean Hannity’s mind. For a second I thought this was the Mar a Lago airport shuttle. pic.twitter.com/xzByoe5Jqp— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) October 26, 2018
Yesterday a very bad van was trending, so today here’s a very good van parked in my neighborhood pic.twitter.com/0Bqqsei9pW— Tessa Miller (@TessaJeanMiller) October 27, 2018
Apparently the inside of the van was no less terrifying. CNN spoke with Sayoc’s boss Debra Gurehjian, who managed a shop where he worked as a delivery driver, who said the van was “freaky scary” and had puppets and mannequins with their heads removed in it, as well as various nooses.
Sayoc is now facing charges of “transporting explosives across state lines, illegally mailing explosives, threatening former presidents and others, threatening interstate communications and assaulting federal officials,” according to the Washington Post. He’s looking at up to 48 years in prison if found guilty.
Stacey Ritzen is a reporter and editor based in West Philadelphia with over 10 years' experience covering pop culture, web culture, entertainment, and news. You can follow her on Twitter @staceyritzen.