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A homeless South Beach artist has no arms. But he stabbed a tourist, police say

Jonathan Crenshaw was arrested and charged with aggravated battery by Miami Beach police on July 10, 2018.
Jonathan Crenshaw was arrested and charged with aggravated battery by Miami Beach police on July 10, 2018. Miami-Dade Corrections

Jonathan Crenshaw is one of those South Beach characters you can’t help but notice.

For years, the 46-year-old homeless man, who weighs all of 90 pounds, has painted on canvas on Lincoln Road Mall, drawing the attention of tourists and passersby for his artistic skills.

That Crenshaw is armless and paints using his feet probably has much to do with the attention he gets.

But on Tuesday, just after midnight, Miami Beach police say that Crenshaw stabbed one of those tourists. Crenshaw, police say, used a pair of scissors he clutched with his feet to stab Cesar Coronado, 22, who was visiting Miami Beach from Chicago.

According to the arrest report, Crenshaw said he was lying down when Coronado approached him and punched him in the head. He stabbed Coronado twice, put the scissors back into his waistband, and quickly walked off, police say.

Miami Beach officers found the victim lying on the ground, bleeding from his left arm. Paramedics took Coronado to Mount Sinai Medical Center.

Crenshaw mug side.JPG
Jonathan Crenshaw. Miami-Dade Corrections


Coronado, and his friend, Cindy Barrientos, 22, and also visiting from Chicago, came upon Crenshaw in the 1600 block of Collins Avenue. Both told responding officers that Coronado was just asking Crenshaw for directions when he jumped up and stabbed him.

Barrientos described the attacker as a homeless man with no arms. Police found Crenshaw nearby in the 200 block of Lincoln Road. When Crenshaw was apprehended he told one of the officers he was defending himself.

Crenshaw is being held at Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on $7,500 bond. He has a court date on July 18.

Crenshaw’s arrest record includes previous offenses dating to 2008, for trespassing, disorderly intoxication, vandalism, and battery on police officers, firefights and city code inspectors.

In 2011, Miami New Times profiled Crenshaw. The street artist told the weekly paper nothing about how he came to lack arms but said he was born in Alabama and moved around a lot with his mother, who, he claimed, fed him rat poison. He also told New Times that he impregnated many women, including pop star Gloria Estefan, who, he said, gave birth to 200 of his children.

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