Twitch star Kai Cenat asked his large fan base to attend a Manhattan gamer giveaway, saying “We’re gonna go crazy, bro!” just days before the crowded event descended into a bloody riot.
The 21-year-old well-known internet streamer explained in a video last week that he chose the iconic Union Square for the event because he knew the stunt “would get shut down ASAP” if he chose a bigger Big Apple location like Times Square’s “Red Steps.”
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“We’re making sure to have good like protection and s–t,” Cenat said. “You already know, we’re trying to chill and s–t. All my New York n—-rs, I f–king love you n—-rs to death,” he said. “But ya’ll n—-rs are wild. Ya’ll n—-rs are animals, bro. Let’s be real, bro. When you n—–rs get too lit, when there’s too much going on, like, n—–rs start violating s–t.”
“That s–t might end really quick depending on how rowdy you get and s–t like that,” said the influencer, who has 20 million online followers. “Now, look — it is a public area,” he added. “So anything can happen, bro. Anything can happen. Make sure you pull up with somebody. Just make sure you pull up with a friend to make sure ya’ll are good and s–t like that. New York is f–king insane, n—-r. But I need all my New York n—–rs out there. We’re gonna go crazy, bro.”
Police said thousands of Cenat’s fans flocked to Union Square in search of free PlayStation 5 consoles and other gifts at around 3:30 p.m. on Friday. The mob erupted in violence, leaving 66 people in custody, including Cenat and influencer Denzel “Duke” Dennis, while at least seven people were hurt.
According to authorities, Cenat was charged with riot incitement, unlawful assembly, and other offenses. He was issued a desk-appearance ticket and is scheduled to appear in court on August 18, according to the Manhattan DA’s office.
Police were made aware of the impromptu promotion a few hours before it began, NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said, but they didn’t think things would spiral out of control so quickly.