Twitch giveaway turns violent, thousands flood New York City Square
NEW YORK - A PlayStation giveaway organised by Twitch streamer Kai Cenat at New York City's Union Square deteriorated into chaos Friday as about a thousand people flooded the area, leading to confrontations with police.
Earlier on X, the social-media platform formerly known as Twitter, Cenat had announced the PS5 giveaway would be held at 4 pm, but large crowds started converging on Union Square at around 1.30 pm.
By 3.30 pm, the situation had gotten out of hand, with the crowd throwing objects and police making arrests, reported United Press International (UPI).
At about 4.25 pm, news footage showed a vehicle, which was likely carrying Cenat, leaving the area as members of the crowd climbed on top of it.
Police put out a Level Four mobilisation order in response to the chaos, calling all available police forces to the area. Police warned people in the crowd that they would be subject to arrest.
Cenat's Twitch stream showed the crowd cheering and yelling in real time during the chaos before cutting off abruptly.
By 6 pm, the crowds largely had dispersed, leaving trash and debris behind. A bus carrying individuals who had been arrested was seen leaving the area.
NYPD Police Chief Jeff Maddrey said officers removed Cenat from the scene for his own protection and that he is in custody at the Midtown precinct as authorities consider pressing charges against him for incitement.
Cenat, 21, has about 6 million Twitch followers and also posts comedy content on YouTube, where he has more than 4 million subscribers. - BERNAMA