News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Aug. 7, 2023: Popular online video creator and influencer, Kai Carlo Cenat, III, whose roots extend to the Caribbean, has been charged with inciting a riot after a promotional giveaway in Manhattan’s Union Square turned chaotic on Friday, August 4th and will appear in court on August 18, New York City officials say.
He is charged with inciting a riot and unlawful assembly and is out on bail. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
After announcing a major giveaway on social media platforms, thousands congregated at Union Square on Friday. Many attendees anticipated receiving new computers or PlayStations. However, the gathering quickly spiraled out of control with people clambering atop cars and obstructing traffic, prompting police intervention.
NYPD Chief of Department, Jeffrey Maddrey, emphasized the potency of social media in drawing vast crowds within mere minutes at a press conference on Friday. He described the situation as both the “power and danger of social media.”
During the chaos, Cenat, who was born in NYC to a Haitian father and a Trinidadian mother, live-streamed from a vehicle, showcasing the gift cards he intended to distribute. Observing the escalating situation, he appealed to his followers for calm, advising everyone to prioritize safety and stating he wouldn’t proceed until it was safe to do so.
Tragically, several injuries were reported. Chief Maddrey indicated that he witnessed individuals departing with bloodied heads, and at least four were hospitalized.
In efforts to regain control and disperse the overwhelming crowd, police officers employed a smoke bomb. By the end of the event, 65 individuals, including 30 minors, had been detained. NYPD reiterated that this was not a sanctioned event, and numerous photos and videos have since surfaced showing handcuffed attendees, predominantly young men, being directed by police officers.
Cenat is one of the biggest and well known live streamers on the platform, and is best known for his live streams on Twitch and his comedy based content which is posted on YouTube. The 21-year-old has 6.5 million followers on Twitch – the Amazon-owned video streaming platform that typically sees streamers play video games whilst chatting to viewers – where he regularly livestreams. Cenat began streaming on Twitch in February 2021, where he broadcast gaming and reaction-type content. He also boasts four million subscribers on YouTube, where he posts daily life and comedy vlogs ranging from “Fake Hibachi Chef Prank!” to his most recent video, “I Rented Us Girlfriends In Japan!”
According to celebritynetworth.com, Cenat has an estimated net worth of around $9 million. He was previously reported to be making $3 million (£2.4 million) per year from Twitch, not including endorsements.