Popular YouTube and Twitch streamer Kai Cenat was taken into custody Friday afternoon after chaos broke out at his giveaway event at a New York City park.
The event, promoted by Cenat earlier this week, was scheduled for Friday at 4 p.m. in Union Square and said it included a prize draw for video game consoles, headphones and other items NBC News.
A crowd of hundreds of people gathered an hour before the event, which later became loud. People reportedly threw rubbish at police officers and tore down barricades. NBC News New York reported.
According to the New York City Police Department, the crowd grew to “a few thousand people” by 4 p.m. The department called for 1,000 officers to de-escalate the situation, it was later reported that several officers were injured and that the police saw people in the crowd being injured, but did not give an exact number of the injured, according to WCBS-TV.
“It was a movie,” said Skylark Jones, 19, who attended the event The Associated Pressadding that the police “came with riot shields and attacked people”.
The chaos extended beyond the park’s plaza and crowds blocked traffic on several streets. Video material shows People climb onto cars, throw chairs at the vehicles and hit them with objects. Youngsters were also seen screaming and running through the streets. AP reported.
Several teenagers once boarded a city bus, seemingly to catch a glimpse of Cenat, who they thought was on it. WABC-TV in New York reported. Several people, including Cenat, who came to the event after it got out of control were taken into police custody. The police announced on Friday evening that it had not yet been clarified whether Cenat would be prosecuted. according to WNBC-TV.
It’s still unclear what caused the chaos. during one press conference On Friday night, the NYPD confirmed that the event was spontaneous and not planned with the department. Cenat had posted about the sweepstakes on his Twitch channel on Wednesday, which NBC News said had racked up over 2 million views as of Friday afternoon.
“This shows the power of social media and the danger of social media,” an NYPD official said at the news conference.
Cenat has been an active Twitch streamer for years and now has more than 6.5 million followers, according to NBC News. Known for his streaming gameplays, pranks, and reaction videos on Twitch, he broke the record for most active subscribers in March after completing a 30-day livestream challenge.
“We don’t mind young people having fun,” the NYPD official said at the news conference. “We are not against gatherings of young people. But it can’t be on that level where it’s dangerous. Many people were injured today.”
Cenat and its reps did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.