An event hosted by popular live streamer Kai Cenat turned into a chaotic scene at Manhattan's Union Square Park on Friday afternoon. Thousands of people gathered for Cenat's meet-and-greet and giveaway, which quickly spiraled out of control. The situation became tense when some in the crowd started tearing down construction barricades and throwing objects, including at police officers who responded to the scene.
As the chaos escalated, a vehicle believed to be carrying Cenat attempted to leave, but the crowd swarmed around it. The vehicle slowly moved through the throngs of people, with some clinging to its sides and back. Several individuals tumbled off the vehicle as it sped away.
Cenat was later taken into police custody for questioning since he did not have a permit for the event or coordinate it with the authorities. The police confirmed that Cenat will face charges, including inciting a riot and unlawful assembly.
The event was initially announced on social media, leading to a viral response and a massive turnout. Thousands of people showed up, causing disruptions in both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Some individuals in the crowd resorted to violence, storming a construction site and hurling objects like construction equipment, paint cans, bottles, and rocks. Others were seen with shovels, axes, and other tools from the construction trade.
The NYPD called for a Level 4 mobilization, bringing in around 1,000 officers to handle the situation. Despite multiple warnings to disperse, the crowd did not comply, leading to 65 arrests, including 30 juveniles.
Throughout the chaos, several officers sustained injuries, and even NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey was struck by objects. However, the officers exercised restraint despite the aggression they faced.
The situation eventually calmed down, and the park was cleared. However, officers continued to monitor the area to prevent further destruction or looting.
This incident serves as a reminder of the power and influence of social media and the importance of proper event planning and coordination with authorities to ensure public safety.