Kai Cenat, a Twitch streamer and influencer, will be charged with at least two counts of inciting a riot and unlawful assembly, police said. On Friday afternoon, thousands went to Union Square in New York City.
The crowd seemed to be reacting to Cenat’s promise of free PlayStations, which led to chaos and a massive police response.
In a Friday evening briefing, Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said that the NYPD had made 65 arrests, 30 of which were of young people.
The event was “illegal” and “not approved,” it quickly grew to include thousands of young people who, according to Maddrey, attacked officers instead of leaving when they were told to. The chief begged the parents to help.
Maddrey said, “I had a thousand kids out there, and I needed a thousand parents.” “When it gets out of hand, we want the parents to come and take charge,” they said.
Maddrey said that a 17-year-old was taken to the hospital with what was first thought to be a gunshot wound but turned out to be an injury from a firework.
NYPD officers came in large numbers to try to stop the chaos, which started after a post by Cenat went viral around 3 p.m., but Maddrey says that the officers were soon attacked.
Maddrey said, “We were crushed and pushed.”
The considerable number of people made the park and its streets too crowded. Some people were seen jumping on cars and a city bus as they ran through the streets. Maddrey says that some people took things from a construction site in Union Square. These things included plywood, shovels, and axes.
The police came with riot gear to break up the crowd. Maddrey says that people trying to get people off a bus where they were being held in custody attacked the bus.
People in the crowd set off fireworks, which made smoke and noise, but police said no flash-bang devices were used, and no shots were fired.
Maddrey said the gathering was “illegal” and “out of control.”
During a press briefing, he said, “We’re not against young people having fun or getting together, but it can’t get to this point where it’s dangerous.” “Today, a lot of people were hurt.”
(David Dee Delgado/Reuters)
Maddrey said that some officers were hurt in the incident, and he was hit with “multiple objects.”
The FDNY says that six people were taken to hospitals in the area because of the incident.
Sources say that the NYPD had found proof on social media that Cenat was out of his car and talking to the large crowd before he left Union Square.
Cenat shared news about the incident and said, “Please be safe,” in an Instagram story.
“I love you guys so much; you’re great,” he told them.
(David Dee Delgado/Reuters)
During the chaos, a woman shopping in the area with her child took refuge in the lobby of an ATM.
“People were everywhere,” she told WABC, an ABC station in New York.
“It was very busy. I could only think about ensuring my daughter was safe, “she told me.
Mayor Eric Adams of New York City thanked the police “for their quick work” in controlling things.
“I want our streets to be full of people and happiness. They have to be safe, “On social media, he said. “That’s what matters the most.”
Mark Crudele, Josh Hoyos, and Matt J. Foster from ABC News all helped with this story.
After chaos breaks out in New York City’s Union Square, a person with power will be charged. This story first appeared on abcnews.go.com.