jFor a time, most of the United States’ unsheltered homeless individuals found refuge in the streets of Miami, but a recent survey showed a welcome improvement.

According to the 2021 Homeless Census conducted by Miami-Dade County, homelessness in the city reached its lowest level in 25 years.

Covid-19 pandemic contributed to the progress, as people were put in quarantine which was essentially a hotel program. At the pandemic’s peak, at least six hotels housed the unsheltered.

For many reasons, homelessness is somehow related to the crime rate.

Most crimes homeless people commit are misdemeanor and non-violent, such as panhandling or nuisance offenses. Some of them, however, make exceptions. 

In Lincoln Road, Miami, an armless homeless painter never failed to grab the attention of passersby and tourists, local or otherwise. Jonathan Crenshaw is no stranger to living in the streets.

Using his feet, he has been drawing abstract figures for years in his open-air studio near the Lincoln Road Mall.

In 2018, he was charged with aggravated battery after allegedly stabbing a tourist with a pair of scissors, and he was found not guilty.

10 /10 Rat Poison

Jonathan Crenshaw was born in Alabama. For much of his childhood, Jonathan and his mother moved to various cities, including San Diego, El Paso, and other places, with barely enough time to make friends between relocations.

He admitted to having little care for those times partly because his mother used to feed him with rat poison.

Jonathan has no arms and never talked much about his disability with anybody. Some call him “birdman” due to his wing-like limbs protruding from his shoulders.

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9 /10 Otherwise A Talker

Apart from his ability to paint using his feet, he is known to talk about many unlikely things in his past.

He doesn’t like to discuss the protruding limbs but is always in the mood for some exaggerated confessions.

For example, he once claimed to have been born with sharp teeth, forcing the government to take a drastic measure and drill them dull.

At another time, he told a story about how he had been killed twice, and lighting brought him back to life.






8 /10 Stabbed To Death

As the story goes, he was stabbed to death in one of his former apartments several years back – although he doesn’t mention the exact date.

Most people will not talk about death so casually, but Jonathan doesn’t seem to display a sudden change in mood or expression each time he brings out the topic.

He thinks the murder weapon (the knife) is still on his back, and anybody can see there is not even a scar there. He doesn’t elaborate on why somebody wanted him dead, to begin with.

photo-lime / Shutterstock.com

7 /10 About Versace

Jonathan is a good painter. Nearly all his drawings depict human eyes. He is fascinated by human eyes and has been drawing them since childhood.

He often brags about his artwork being used as a design piece by Versace. His mother once told him to draw something else, and one day he saw his creation on some clothes.

In his mind, Versace bought his artwork from his mother. If anybody can believe such a story, it is Jonathan himself.

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6 /10 About Gloria Estefan

Another talking point is Gloria Estefan, who, according to Jonathan, gave birth to around 200 children; all of them are his.

To make the story more believable, he asserts that he was a grandfather at 39 and only an 8-year-old boy when he became a father.

Apart from Gloria, he claims to have impregnated many other women too. Given the topics and the way he talks, it is almost apparent his imagination runs wild regularly.

5 /10 Good Food And Beer

When Jonathan is not at work in Lincoln Road, where he paints most days, he stays in his hotel room, having good food and enjoying his beer.

People can appreciate his work; if they don’t buy a painting or two, they will throw some dollars into a cup in front of him.

Jonathan once mentioned that death would end his suffering but was quick to say he didn’t want to commit suicide.

A significant cause of his ever-present woes is the city code, which requires him to have a vendor’s permit for his open-air art studio.

4 /10 Nobody Could Kill

Jonathan uses a dog leash to drag all his art supplies from and to his workplace.

In addition to canvasses and pens, he also likes to carry around a radio to listen to Latin and rap music. The story about his death and resurrection makes Jonathan believe nobody can kill him.

He even says Nostradamus made a prediction long ago about his superpower; the idea came across Jonathan’s mind through one of his artworks. Again, it is unclear which drawing he refers to.

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3 /10 South Beach Artist

 The armless and homeless man has been painting on canvas, using his feet, near Lincoln Road Mall for years.

Thanks to his artistic skill and mannerism, it is almost impossible not to notice his presence in the area.

Passerby and tourists admire Jonathan’s drawings, which sometimes sell for $60 each. It is not much, but enough to get him by.

His disability, unfortunately, also has something to do with all his attention. However, in July 2018, Jonathan made headlines for the wrong reason – he stabbed a tourist and ran away.

Miami-Dade County Jail

2 /10 Self-Defense Claim

According to the arrest report, Jonathan accused the tourist of an unprovoked physical assault that, therefore, made his attack a justifiable self-defense action.

He said the 22-year-old Cesar Coronado approached him and suddenly punched him in the head. Jonathan fought back, using a pair of scissors to stab Cesar in the arm twice.

When Miami Beach police arrived at the scene, Cesar was bleeding on the ground, and the paramedics rushed him to a medical center for treatment. Jonathan was nowhere to be found at that moment.

1 /10 Criminal Record

The police found Jonathan, where he always was on Lincoln Road. He was subsequently taken into custody and jailed at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.

It turned out he had quite a criminal record, including but not limited to arrests for battery, trespassing, resisting officer, and in this case, aggravated battery.

Following a jury trial in November 2018, Jonathan Crenshaw was not guilty.

He had another run-in with the law in 2019 in a marijuana-related case. In February 2022, he was booked for an alcohol-related violation.

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