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A "huge giveaway" by a popular social media influencer caused thousands of people to gather in New York City on Friday afternoon. The massive mob forced New York City cops to don riot gear and the NYPD scrabble to mobilize to contain the huge crowd.
Kai Cenat, a popular Twitch streamer and YouTube content creator, promised a "huge giveaway" at 4 p.m. Friday in Manhattan. NYPD estimated that a "couple thousand people" assembled in Union Square to get their hands on free PlayStation 5 video game consoles, gaming PCs, and gift cards from the social media star with millions of fans on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Twitch.
Some of the people in Union Square reportedly tore down barricades and threw garbage at police officers.
An NYPD spokesperson said the department issued level 4 mobilization — the city's highest level of disaster response. The spokesperson also said more than 1,000 officers were requested to respond to the escalating situation.
The huge crowds blocked several roads, causing nightmares for rush-hour motorists.
Teens are seen on video fighting during the Union Square event.
Some teens are seen on video hanging onto moving vehicles as they travel in the area of the riot.
CBS News reported, "Chopper 2 was overhead and spotted people climbing on top of the roof covering the entrance to the Union Square subway station. One person was seen setting off a fire extinguisher, sending huge smoky plumes over the crowd."
New York City subways are skipping the Union Square station.
Kai Cenat said of the chaos, "It's a war out there, man."
Videos show the mayhem caused by the giveaway event in Union Square.
Kai Cenat was reportedly taken into custody by authorities.
NBC News reported, "A spokesperson for the New York Police Department confirmed that Kai Cenat, a popular personality on Twitch and YouTube, was in law enforcement custody. It wasn't immediately clear if he had been arrested or detained and additional details weren't available."
CBS News said, "Cenat has been taken into police custody for questioning."
There were reportedly "numerous" arrests at the chaotic event in Union Square.
YouTuber apparently causes large disturbance in New York City's Union Squarewww.youtube.com
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Paul Sacca is a staff writer for Blaze News.