By Ankita Chakravarti: Famous Twitch streamer Kai Cenat was arrested after his PS5 giveaway caused chaos and massive police response in New York City on Friday. More than 2,000 people thronged to Union Square Park, where the giveaway was taking place to get their hands on free PlayStation 5 devices. Notably, Twitch is a video streaming platform which focuses on live streaming video games, including broadcasts of esports competitions and others.
As per CNBC, the situation quickly spiraled out of control as the crowd grew in size. People began throwing fireworks, bottles, and toppling barricades, leading to a dangerous scene. Even subway trains passing through the Union Square stop had to be cautious, as the situation became increasingly tense.
The trouble began when Cenat posted on social media that he would be distributing 300 PlayStations at the park, attracting hundreds of eager fans by 1:00 PM New York Time. As the day progressed, the streets surrounding the busy train stop became packed with people, some even climbing on cars and the train station roof.
In response to the escalating situation, the New York Police Department declared a “level four” mobilization, deploying approximately 1,000 officers to the scene. Police tried to disperse the unruly crowd, but their commands fell on deaf ears. Tear gas was used to control the chaos, as Cenat livestreamed the events from inside a vehicle near Union Square.
Around 5:00 PM, the police took Cenat into custody, and an hour later, the crowd finally began to disperse. It was later revealed that Cenat did not have a permit for the event, which was supposedly a collaboration with another YouTube star.
NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey expressed his concern about the unprecedented level of danger during the incident. He stated that some individuals had dangerous tools from the construction trade and were also lighting and throwing fireworks at the police and each other.
Cenat had previously made headlines in March for breaking the Twitch record with 300,000 subscribers. His popularity on the livestreaming platform soared due to his non-stop drive to interact with viewers for 30 days, playing games, chatting, interviewing guests, and even streaming his sleep.
The aftermath of the chaotic event raises questions about the responsibility of social media influencers and the need for proper permits for such gatherings. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the potential consequences when events spiral out of control, urging both fans and celebrities to prioritize safety in their pursuit of entertainment.