From crude scrawls to elaborate and multicolored "art," the graffiti is popping up on highway signs and sound walls — particularly along Interstate 95 — and on construction sites and train cars.
The artists say they hope their work — which is mostly done illegally — puts added pressure on police to make an arrest in the case. The markings, though, mainly are meant as a tribute to the comrade they called "Ynot" and the "King of 95."
His real name was Jonathan Corso. He lived in Davie and had just turned 21 when he was fatally run over during a fight on July 28 outside a Davie strip club.
Davie police have not yet classified Corso's death, saying it's still unclear whether he was intentionally run over, if they're dealing with a case of self-defense or if his death was accidental.
Police have declined to release more information about their investigation or publicly identify the driver of the white Cadillac Escalade that struck Corso.
"We're not releasing his name because it's an open investigation," said Davie police Sgt. Greg Gasse. "We're not releasing anything else until the case is closed."
Police did tow the Escalade from the scene of the incident, the parking lot of Club Eden Cabaret, 2101 S. University Drive, and also have collected security tapes from the strip club, officials said.
The lack of an arrest almost a month after the incident, however, has left Corso's friends, who consider themselves a family, immensely frustrated.
They say they're channeling that frustration into painting, and several of the artists have been aggressively tagging the name Ynot all over South Florida.
The artists work in crews ranging from a handful of members to more than a dozen.
Although their goal is to make their graffiti names and those of their crews famous, they often prefer not to reveal their true identities to people outside of their social circle.
Certain parts of South Florida are havens, spots where their work is somewhat accepted and left untouched — except by rival crews — and the threat of arrest is lower.
Miami's Wynwood neighborhood is arguably South Florida's graffiti capital, and the elaborate designs are easily seen from Interstate 95.
Some spots, such as billboards, are more prestigious than others because of the high visibility and the risk of injury or arrest that often is involved, the artists say.
They call these spots "high risk."
That's where Corso got his start in the graffiti world in his early teens. At the time, he battled drug addiction but then met a prolific graffiti artist who uses the name Dose. Both overcame their addictions together, friends said.
"The rush you get from doing a "high-risk" spot was the alternative. Maybe that's why they went so heavy into graffiti those first few years," said Chris Oh, who knew Corso for six years.
Corso painted so much, particularly along I-95 along the East Coast, that fellow artists dubbed him the "King of 95." Corso's friends said they have never heard of someone so young achieving "king" status, which is normally reserved for the most experienced artists, they said.
Friends said police caught Corso several times, joking that running was not Corso's strong suit.
State records show Corso had been arrested seven times in Florida, all on criminal mischief or trespassing charges. Most of the charges eventually were dropped, and Corso pleaded no contest to a March 2008 criminal mischief charge in Hollywood in which adjudication was withheld.
When he wasn't painting, Corso made a living drawing tattoos, with new clients constantly coming to him via word-of-mouth, friends said.
Corso's passion for tattoos ran so intense that he covered his entire body in art, including having his mother's name etched above his right eyebrow and an abbreviated version of his baby son's name above his knuckles.
Corso's friends said his appearance, including a full head of long, brown hair done up in loose dreadlocks, made some people uncomfortable. It also may have sparked the fight outside of the strip club that ended in his death, they said.
As part of their quest for justice, a fellow graffiti artist has adopted a new identity: "Ynot Lives!"
Taken from: Sun Sentinel
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