Twitch streamer Kai Cenat has been arrested after sparking chaos in New York City when a crowd of 2000 descended to the location of his PlayStation 5 giveaway.
Cenat announced the giveaway on his Instagram on Friday morning local time, asking his more than six million followers to meet him at Union Square in Manhattan at 4pm for the freebies.
A small crowd gathered around Union Square Plaza as early as 1pm, however, as the clock reached closer to 4pm, the group began to get rowdy, The Sun reports.
The group, estimated at around 2000 people, waited around the park area for Cenat to giveaway 300 PlayStation 5 consoles.
In a press conference held at 6pm, NYPD Chief Jeffrey Maddrey said thousands gathered and many remain in the area.
“We will continue to disperse this crowd until they are all gone. This mobilisation is ongoing and we will be here until the crowd is dispersed,” Maddrey said.
Cenat briefly went live on his Twitch channel, posting a stream of him surrounded by a big crowd.
By 4.30pm, the New York City Police Department issued a level four mobilisation, the highest level of disaster response in the city.
It’s estimated that thousands of cops responded to the scene within 41 minutes once the level four mobilisation was activated.
Shortly after the mass gathering descended into chaos, Cenat posted another video from inside a vehicle before getting out and still talking about handing out PlayStation consoles.
Police eventually pulled Cenat from the crowd and arrested him at about 5pm.
It’s unclear if the Twitch streamer will be criminally charged.
However, Maddrey said all options and charges are being considered, including inciting a riot.
Police are still tallying the total number of people arrested.
A city bus was loaded up with people who had been arrested, according to Maddrey.
“We had young people attacking the bus. It was a very dangerous situation,” he said.
Numerous minor injuries have been reported, though none required hospitalisation, according to NBC.
But Maddrey said he observed people bleeding from the head, experiencing panic and anxiety attacks, and more.
Video from the scene showed a throng of people running through the streets, and some were seen jumping on cars and a city bus.
The unruly crowd was seen tearing down construction barricades and hurling objects in the air.
One person was seen setting off a fire extinguisher, sending plumes of smoke over the group.
Fireworks were also reportedly set off during the chaotic event, Maddrey confirmed.
“Individuals in the park began to commit acts of violence towards the police. People broke into the park and began to throw articles at the construction site,” he said.
“We had people walking around with shovels. Individuals were also lighting fireworks – they were throwing them towards police and towards each other.”
Footage from the scene showed multiple people climbing on top of a hot dog cart and throwing items into the crowd.
As a black van, which was believed to be carrying Cenat, attempted to leave the area, a large crowd stormed the vehicle, clinging to the sides and climbing on the roof.
Police advised drivers and pedestrians to avoid the area surrounding Union Square Plaza as they continue to clear the scene.
Officials continue to disburse the crowd north of Union Square, but due to the number of police cars on scene, traffic is jammed in the area.
NYC Mayor Eric Adams told CBS News at least 1,000 police officers responded to the scene.
Despite the mass gathering, Cenat did not give away any gaming systems.
This story appeared in The Sun and is reproduced with permission.