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YouTuber Causes Riot In New York's Union Square With Video Game Unit Giveaway

Source: Alexi J. Rosenfeld / Getty

The power of social media was on display in NYC on Friday afternoon.

It all began when streamer Kai Cenat announced on his Twitch on Wednesday that he’d host a huge PlayStation and other tech items giveaway in Union Square.

The impromptu meet-up turned hectic when hundreds of his fans showed up in the city, so cops tried to get a hold of the crowd as even MTA trains skipped the stop to avoid getting caught up in the crowd.


New York City Police Chief Jeffrey Maddrey spoke to NBC News afterward, saying that Cenat had been taken into custody for causing the scene. He’ll likely be charged with at least two counts of inciting a riot and unlawful assembly.

“Officers were attacked, we were crushed,” he said. “I personally observed young people having panic attacks, anxiety attacks. People were suffering out here.”

The rowdy crowd injured at least three officers, including one sergeant who broke his hand.

In total there were around 65 people arrested, with at least 30 of them being unruly kids who didn’t hesitate to taunt police and throw things at them, stand on top of parked cars and climbing scaffolding.


The event –which was  “unpermitted” and “not sanctioned” — was set to begin at 4 pm, but by 3 pm the park has been overtaken by his fans, which are mostly kids.

“I had thousands of kids out there, I needed thousands of parents,” Maddrey said according to WABC. “When it gets to the point where it’s disorderly, we want the parents to come and take control.”

As the vehicle Kai Cenat was believed to be inside of fled the scene, kids were clinging to the side of the truck and fell to ground.

Cenat is a New York native most known for live streaming  on Twitch and comedic YouTube content. As his fame grew –alongside fellow New York Youtuber Fanum– he began to have celebrities on his stream like 21 Savage, Rich Paul, and Lil Baby.

See how Twitter’s reacting to the crazy afternoon in NYC below: