Twitch Streamer Kai Cenat to Face Charges Over Union Square Riot 2023

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In a shocking turn of events, a massive gathering of thousands at Manhattan’s Union Square for a hyped giveaway organized by Twitch streamer Kai Cenat spiraled into chaos, leading to injuries and numerous arrests. The riotous scene unfolded on a Friday afternoon, with individuals climbing on vehicles, hurling chairs, and engaging in physical altercations, causing injuries to both attendees and law enforcement officers who struggled to restore order.

Twitch Streamer Kai Cenat to Face Charges Over Union Square Riot 2023

The Chaos Unfolds

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) swiftly responded to the mayhem, and Kai Cenat, the popular Twitch streamer, is now set to face multiple charges, including inciting a riot and unlawful assembly. During the peak of the riot, frantic teenagers swung objects at car windows, threw paint cans, and set off fire extinguishers. Some even climbed onto moving vehicles, endangering themselves and others. The aftermath of the event led to at least 65 arrests, with 30 of those being juveniles.

Unpermitted and Unsanctioned Event

The giveaway event organized by Kai Cenat was deemed “unpermitted” and “not sanctioned” by authorities. What was initially intended to be a fun and exciting event turned into an uncontrollable gathering of thousands of young people who chose to defy orders to disperse and instead resorted to attacking law enforcement officers. NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey expressed frustration and called on parents to intervene, emphasizing the need for parental control in such situations.

Twitch Streamer Kai Cenat to Face Charges Over Union Square Riot 2023

Injuries and Chaos Kai Cenat

During the riot, three officers sustained injuries, with two of them requiring hospitalization. One sergeant suffered a broken hand, and four civilians were also injured. Among the injured was a 17-year-old who, at first, was believed to have been shot but later turned out to have sustained a firework-related injury. The scene was chaotic, with people suffering from bleeding, asthma attacks, and panic episodes. Motorists found themselves trapped as individuals climbed on their cars, further escalating the already dangerous situation.

The Origin of Chaos

The chaos ensued after Kai Cenat advertised the giveaway on his website and Instagram account, attracting eager participants who started lining up as early as 1:30 p.m. By 3 p.m., the crowd had swelled into thousands, and the situation began to spiral out of control. Some attendees admitted they were there in the hopes of receiving free items, such as computers for livestreaming or new PlayStations.

Twitch Streamer Kai Cenat to Face Charges Over Union Square Riot 2023

Police’s Approach

The NYPD made earnest efforts to manage the crowd without resorting to arrests, aiming to de-escalate the situation. However, faced with an overwhelming number of attendees behaving recklessly, the police had no choice but to take measures to restore order and ensure public safety. Police officers faced significant challenges as they encountered individuals wielding paint cans, bottles, rocks, and even construction equipment.

Kai Cenat’s Involvement

Kai Cenat himself was present at the event, livestreaming from a vehicle as the crowd gathered momentum. He displayed gift cards that were intended to be part of the giveaway and urged everyone to prioritize safety. However, as the excitement grew, he and his entourage ventured into the park, where they were met with a mob of cheering and jostling individuals. Eventually, Cenat had to be removed for his own safety, and the police stayed in communication with him throughout the ordeal.

Twitch Streamer Kai Cenat to Face Charges Over Union Square Riot 2023

Heightened Danger

The situation escalated further when a bus on 14th Street became a focal point for the crowd, as some individuals believed that Cenat was inside. The NYPD worked diligently to set up barricades, and several people were taken into custody. Meanwhile, hundreds of people ran away from the scene down Broadway as police used loudspeakers to disperse the crowd.

Impact on Nearby Businesses

The chaotic scene caused businesses surrounding Union Square to close their doors for safety reasons. One manager of an eyeglass shop, Carina Treile, described the situation as unusual, expressing her astonishment at the lack of organization and consideration for others among those attending the giveaway event.


The Union Square riot involving Twitch streamer Kai Cenat’s hyped giveaway was a disturbing and dangerous event that resulted in numerous injuries and arrests. Despite initial intentions for an enjoyable gathering, it quickly spiraled out of control, leaving law enforcement officers and attendees grappling with the consequences. While the allure of free gifts may have drawn the massive crowd, the lack of proper organization and compliance with orders led to severe repercussions. Such events serve as a reminder of the importance of safety, responsible organizing, and parental supervision in any large-scale gathering.

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