On Friday, a massive gathering of people showed up at New York City’s Union Square for a giveaway hosted by two social media influencers, mega-popular Twitch streamer Kai Cenat and another streamer, Fanum. Cenat and “a few other people” have been arrested, NBC 4 reports.
In one press conference given after the incident, NYPD chief of department Jeffrey Maddrey responded to questions about Cenat, saying, “we do have him,” but didn’t specify in what precinct. According to Maddrey, the NYPD became aware of the posts at about 1:30PM ET, before the posts went viral at around 3PM. After some in the crowd acted violently, he said, the police removed Cenat from the park before eventually declaring the gathering an unlawful assembly.
During a second press conference Friday, Maddrey announced that Cenat is expected to be charged with “at least two counts” of inciting a riot and unlawful assembly. At that time, he told reporters there had been 65 arrests, including 30 juveniles, and also noted several civilians and police officers who were sent to the hospital after the event to have injuries treated, including at least one teenager harmed by fireworks and some people who suffered broken bones.
Cenat is the most-subscribed streamer on Twitch, according to TwitchTracker. The giveaway was set to take place at Union Square Park at 4PM ET (we had linked to an announcement of the giveaway on X, but Cenat deleted the post), and the park was full of people by 3PM. Cenat posted a nearly three-minute stream on Twitch in a big crowd that didn’t show much detail.
Cenat and Fanum have continued posting to social media, sharing and deleting images on their Instagram stories, including one with the text, “I love you guys to the fullest you guys are amazing, THE LOVE FROM HOME BASE IS REAL, Please be safe.”
A bit earlier, he posted a video from the inside of a vehicle before getting out, talking about multiple PS5s he intended to give away while showing off a huge stack of $100 gift cards. The video quickly devolves into chaos when Cenat exits the vehicle, with the crowd immediately collapsing on Cenat and his group.
Update August 4th, 6:56PM ET: Added NYPD press conference details and video of NYPD removing Cenat from the crowd.
Update August 5th, 4AMET: Added details from second NYPD press conference and statements about possible charges.