YouTube and Twitch personality Kai Cenat is in police custody after a riot broke out in New York City’s Union Square during an unlicensed scheduled giveaway of Playstation 5s.
The NYPD arrested 65 people, 30 of whom were juveniles, during the Friday afternoon chaos in Manhattan.
Police have said that the influencer will be charged with multiple criminal offences including at least two counts of inciting a riot and unlawful assembly.
Shocking photos and videos show thousands of people gathered, with some fighting and others throwing fire extinguishers at each other in downtown Manhattan.
At least 12 people have been injured, police told DailyMail.com. Multiple NYPD officers were on the scene trying to disperse the crowd as of 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, who is one of the most popular streamers on Twitch and has 5.5 million followers on Instagram, had announced a giveaway on the platform with fellow streamer Fanum scheduled for 4pm.
Kai Cenat, 21, is seen being arrested by NYPD following Friday’s riot
Cenat told his fans to turn up at Union Square for a giveaway, which got out of hand
People film as a man karate kicks the windows of a car parked near Union Square
Police installed barricades in a bid to control the crowd, and made multiple arrests
A riot has broken out at New York City ‘s Union Square sparked by YouTuber Kai Cenat handing out free Playstation 5s
Shortly before the riot erupted, Cenat, 21, posted an image saying, ‘on the way.’
The city’s official notification system has said to avoid the area, and trains are not stopping at the busy Union Street station.
Several people have been arrested, the initial estimates clocking about 40 people so far.
Numerous people could be seen in hand restraints, sitting on the sidewalks. Police were forming lines in the street, trying to direct the crowd, which periodically broke out in a run.
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.’
Some climbed on top of the roof covering the entrance to the Union Square subway station
Video game streamer Fanum was also involved in the giveaway
Cenat had announced a giveaway on Instagram before the riot erupted on Friday
The streamers reacted to the wild scene on a live stream that seems to show them reveling in the crowd. Cenat (left) said ‘Everybody for themselves, it’s a war out there man’
The crowd turned violent and began jumping on and kicking parked cars
Crowds run from Union Square as the chaos spread on Friday afternoon
People were seen throwing objects and tearing at construction barricades.
Some young adults even climbed 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.
A woman twerks on a lamppost in Union Square
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 its 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.’
A rioter jumps on the roof of a car as others film him
The car is seen with a smashed windscreen as police close in
Four men are seen in handcuffs as the NYPD moved to break up the riot
NYPD on Friday evening were trying to calm the riot and restore order
Large numbers of NYPD officers swarmed the square to try and dispel the crowd
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 exactly 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.
A woman in distress is led from the scene
A woman is pictured being detained during Friday’s unrest
A man is pictured resisting arrest. NYPD are yet to confirm how many arrests were made
A person is seen being carried away from the chaos
A man in handcuffs is restrained by the NYPD following the riot
Police are seen on Friday afternoon readying their riot shields
Young people caught up in the chaos were traumatized and left in tears
A man is pictured resisting arrest on Friday afternoon in Union Square
Rioters ran when someone let off firecrackers, with many believing it was gunshots
Phones in hand, rioters are detained by NYPD. One officer had yellow stains on his uniform after the crowd pelted him
Youths picked up trash cans and began hurling them around the streets near Astor Place
A rioter is seen throwing a plastic bottle
Police officers use riot shields as they try to bring the crowd under control
Earlier officers were seen carrying sheets of plywood
The NYPD brought in reinforcements after the crowd got out of control
Hundreds of people gathered at Union Square, with some throwing fire extinguishers at each other
Police are seen holding up pieces of plywood on Friday afternoon amid the chaos
Officers appeared to be using plywood to protect themselves from the crowd
An officer is seen carrying the large sheet of plywood
‘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.
Cenat had said items such as Gaming PCs, gift cards, Gaming Chairs and other gaming essentials would be given out for free.
Several people were arrested at the chaotic scene
At least 12 people have been injured, cops told DailyMail.com
People are seen clinging to the roof of Cenat’s black SUV
The NYPD has warned of mass disruption to transport