A Twitch Giveaway Gone Wrong after Massive Crowd Overruns a Park
By: Connie Cao
The scene was chaotic and violent. Bottles were hurled in all directions, fireworks ignited the sky, and many arrests occurred at Union Ville Park. The origin of this turmoil? A prominent gamer on Twitch named Kai Cenant.
Around 1:30 p.m., over 300 individuals assembled, anticipating catching a glimpse of their idol and perhaps snagging a freebie. The NYPD had been alerted at 1:00 p.m. about the growing crowd, steadily gaining momentum. By 3 p.m., word spread rapidly across social media platforms, drawing over a thousand to Union Ville Park.
Among those present was Illnida Cruise, a mother from Washington Heights, who had hoped for a peaceful giveaway event. Accompanied by her 17-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son, both ardent gamer fans, she expected a serene experience.
"However, things took a wild turn. What had initially been a calm gathering escalated into something much more aggressive. Crutches and bottles were flung, and the fireworks explosion punctuated the air. I feared for my family's safety," she told Pix 11.
Amidst the tumultuous scene, Kai Cenat made his appearance. Confronted with thousands of people engaged in bottle-throwing and violent shoving, he voiced his disillusionment.
"I am profoundly let down by anyone who resorted to destructive behavior that day," Cenat conveyed to Eyewitness News. He continued, "Following Friday's events, I can't fathom the extent of the power and influence I wield over people."
Subsequently, the police were swiftly mobilized at the park. Multiple arrests were made, and the crowd was directed to disperse toward the North. Cenat was also safely removed from the tumult.
Jeffrey Maddrey, the highest-ranking official in the New York Police Department, offered insights into the situation at the park. "I witnessed individuals leaving with head injuries, cuts, bruises, and lacerations. Even I was struck on the head," he disclosed.
Facing the aftermath, Cenat is now set to face charges of inciting a riot, unlawful assembly, and other offenses. He expressed his commitment to pursuing a more responsible approach in the future, vowing to do things "the right way."