At least one person was arrested and several others injured after a crowd at a giveaway hosted by a popular Twitch streamer turned violent on Friday.
Police estimate that thousands turned to Union Square in anticipation of a “huge giveaway” hosted by social media influencer Kai Senat. The prize will reportedly include a free PlayStation console and a gift card. Around NBC New York. The giveaway was scheduled to take place at 4:00 pm, but crowds began to gather in the square an hour earlier, and by 3:30 pm there was already chaos, according to the newspaper.
🚨#preliminary report: Twitch streamer’s influencer giveaway causes massive riots in Union Square Park
Massive riots are currently taking place in Union Square Park in Manhattan, New York. Hundreds of young teens and adults gathered after the Twitch Live… pic.twitter.com/6WynfWFlDB
— RAWSALERTS (@rawsalerts) August 4, 2023
It remains unclear what sparked the unrest, but witnesses said people in the crowd destroyed construction fences and threw garbage and bottles at more than 1,000 police officers who responded to the riot. CBS News reported witnessing report. Members of the crowd also climbed to the observation deck of a nearby subway station and climbed a statue of George Washington on horseback. according to ABC7 news. (Related: German influencers accused of vandalizing 150-year-old statue on social media)
The car, believed to be carrying Senat, was briefly mobbed by the crowd, but eventually sped off, the newspaper said.
CBS News reported that Senat was then taken into police custody for questioning because he did not have a permit for the rally.