Valentine described Sayoc as a muscle freak who had dreams of becoming a professional bodybuilder.
“He was just a big jarhead, a big meathead,” Valentine said.
Sayoc, 56, also used to manage some female strip clubs in south Florida, according to Valentine, who said he last saw him in West Palm Beach a few years ago.
Ronald Lowy, an attorney and friend of Sayoc’s mother, said the suspected mail bomber used to have a serious problem with steroids
, resulting in his being charged with felony possession of the muscle-boosting drugs in 2004.
“He got in a diversion program to hopefully try to get him off steroids,” Lowy, who has represented Sayoc in multiple criminal cases over the years, told The News. “Sadly, it’s our understanding he went back and continued using them. We think that is probably part of the problem. Steroids can create heightened emotions and anger. It’s a very dangerous drug.”
Sayoc’s mom, Madeline Giardiello, a registered Democrat, was heartbroken by the news that her son stands accused of mailing explosives to high-profile Trump critics, including former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
“She finds all of this so shocking and painful,” Lowy said. “She’s asked me to express her empathy for the victims who had to receive these packages and be in fear. She’s in shock it could have been her son, and if so, she’s deeply regretful.”