- NYPD Chief Jeffrey Maddrey said in a press conference Friday that Cenat faces ‘at least two counts of inciting a riot, unlawful assembly and a few other charges’
- Shocking photos and videos show thousands of people gathered, with some fighting and others throwing fire extinguishers at each other in downtown Manhattan
- Hours later, Cenat was seem walking free into a black van to take him away, without answering any questions from reporters assembled
YouTube and Twitch personality Kai Cenat was freed from police custody just hours after a riot he started broke out in New York City’s Union Square during an unlicensed scheduled giveaway of Playstation 5s.
Cenat was seen walking from the precinct with security in tow, but didn’t make a comment to reporters standing by. He’s also yet to make comment on his social media platforms following the riot.
The NYPD arrested 65 people, 30 of whom were juveniles, during the Friday afternoon chaos in Manhattan.
NYPD Chief Jeffrey Maddrey said in a press conference that Cenat faces ‘at least two counts of inciting a riot, unlawful assembly and a few other charges.’
‘People were suffering out here, alot of young people got hurt,’ Maddrey added.
‘We’re not against young people having a good time… but it can’t be to this level.’
Shocking photos and videos show thousands of people gathered, with some fighting and others throwing fire extinguishers at each other in downtown Manhattan.
Others showed Cenat being lifted over a fence and out of the crowd and then placed in a police vehicle.
One video shows a fan hyperventilating upon meeting the viral star, with Cenat, who is one of the most popular streamers on Twitch and boasts 5.5 million followers on Instagram, embracing them.
‘I just wanted to see you!’ the female admirer cries out, with Cenat doing his best to calm her down.
‘I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe, Kai!’ she continued.
Another showed fans senselessly pounding away at cars that were parked on the street, one fan went as far as to jump onto a car and dance as others smashed its windscreen.
Maddrey, who said the NYPD declared the gathering an ‘unlawful assembly’ had his officers set off a smoke bomb to get rid of the crowd. He said he’d never seen anything like it.
‘We have encountered things like this before, but never to this level of dangerousness where young people would not listen to our commands, they were fighting each other, they were hurting each other,’ he said.
Maddrey said Cenat was removed ‘for his safety’ and police were in contact with him.
Hours later, Cenat was seem walking free into a black van to take him away, without answering any questions from reporters that had assembled at the scene.
At least 12 people were injured, police told DailyMail.com although those numbers could rise in the morning. Multiple NYPD officers were on the scene trying to disperse the crowd at about 5pm.
The NYPD has warned of mass transit disruptions and traffic delays, they estimated about 2,000 people showed up for the giveaway and Mayor Eric Adams condemned the violence, warning his own son to stay clear.
Cenat had announced a giveaway on the platform with fellow streamer Fanum scheduled to be there at 4pm.
Shortly before the riot erupted, Cenat, 21, posted an image saying, ‘on the way.’
The city’s official notification system said to avoid the area, and that trains would not stop at the busy Union Street station – as the huge throng of crowds heaved in the streets.
Police made a total of 65 arrests coming out of the incident, including Cenat.
Numerous people could be seen in hand restraints, sitting on the sidewalks as responding officers lined the street in a bid to direct the crowd, which periodically broke away darting across the square.
The NYPD echoed the statement, tweeting: ‘Due to police activity, avoid the area surrounding Union Square Park & use alternate routes. Expect a police presence in the area and residual traffic delays.’
People were seen throwing objects and tearing at construction barricades.
Some young adults were seen climbing on top of the roof covering the entrance to the Union Square subway station.
One woman climbed up a traffic light and stood on a sign twerking above the crowds.
A group let off firecrackers in one section of Union Square Park as arrests were being made, which prompted panic and false rumors that a shooting had occurred.
Others pounded on the side of a city bus. People could be seen climbing on top of another bus and jumping up and down.
At least one person was seen setting off a fire extinguisher, and a car was smashed by rioters jumping on the roof and kicking in the windows.
Cenat could be seen emerging from a SUV worming his way through the crowd and directing his followers to a nearby truck with a see-through back that contained boxes labeled PS5.
Half of the crowd followed the truck, the other half continued to follow the social media star. When the car got to 17th street, it picked up speed and drove away from the scene.
Adams tweeted: ‘Thank you to the NYPD for their quick work getting the situation at Union Square under control today. I want our streets to be alive and full of joy. But they must be safe. That’s the most important thing.’
He went on to add: ‘When I saw what was playing out in Union Square today, I texted my son and asked him if he was there. He replied no. I told him to stay out of the area until we resolved the matter.
‘I thought to myself, I hope all parents or caregivers are able to check in and hear back from their children during the moments like this.’
Cops were forced to hold up pieces of plywood and take cover behind cars as people threw objects at them, according to Eyewitness News.
It’s unclear when and why the crowd turned violent.
‘One cluster of people would let out a yell and start cheering, then another group would do the same, people were swarming over to the group that yelled the loudest just to try and see this influencer. People had little kids with them,’ a witness told DailyMail.com.
Cenat and his friends reacted to the wild scene on a live stream that seemed to show them reveling in the crowd.
Look at this!’ Cenat said, as he showed a picture of the crowd to the camera.
‘They standing like in f*****g unity, bro.’
He added: ‘Everybody for themselves, it’s a war out there man.’
A video posted online showed about a dozen people jumping on top of Cenat’s car, before one fell off.