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Brawl in gift distribution of the social media phenomenon in New York

Source: Anadolu Agency / Getty

Kai Cenat, an influencer of note, is in a world of trouble. After urging his followers to meet up with him on Friday afternoon (August 4) in New York City’s Union Square for a giveaway, the turnout was so massive that riots broke out, and Cenat ended up being allegedly taken into custody by the NYPD.

Social media is dishing out videos of the scene at Union Square that makes the infamous Air Jordan 11 Concord and Galaxy Foampostite drops look like a backyard kickback. Thousands of teens and young adults, and surely some older hypebeasts, made it down to 14th Street in hopes of scoring the PS5’s, PC’s and gift cards that Cenat promised them via his stream. This was no passive suggestion since the 21-year-old recently made history as the most popular streamer on Twitch (he also has a cool 6 million followers on Instagram). And clearly from the turnout, when he says move, a lot of people take heed.

But the problem is that Union Square, and the NYPD initially on hand, was not ready for the massive influx of people. According to NYPD, they got wind of the growing crowd around 1:30pm and noted that Kai Cenat’s post started going viral around 3pm. At around 4pm, NYPD urged people not to come down to Union Square since ish was going left.

The influx of people in the park and surrounding street got out of control the NYPD alleges that numerous officers were attacked (apparently, the kids on hand were fighting and hurling object at each other, and they then turned on the badges) and that they declared the gathering an “unlawful assembly.” The authorities claim that despite warning the crowd to leave, after not taking heed they started arresting people to clear out the park.

In NYPD’s presser, a spokesman said they helped remove Kai Cenat from Union Square but there is no confirmation that he was actually detained or arrested. There is also speculation that he may be charged with inciting a riot or a similar charge. FOX 5 News reports that Cenat is in custody and ther is footage of him being escorted by cops.

We’re going to go ahead and guess Kai Cenat did not have enough PS5’s for everyone.

Check out reactions to the chaos in Union Square in the gallery.

This story is developing. 

1. Life comes at you fast.


3. Bruh…

4. Smile, you’re on camera.