Kai Cenat finally addresses New York City giveaway riot: 'I'm being hit with multiple charges'

In his first stream since an attempted PlayStation giveaway caused chaos in New York City's Union Square Park, Twitch streamer Kai Cenat said he's now facing "multiple charges" as a result of the incident, and so he's going to have to slow down his streaming schedule for a little while.

The incident occurred on August 4 when Cenat, one of the most popular streamers on Twitch, announced a surprise giveaway in Union Square, and invited, well, everyone. And everyone showed, with predictable results: Instead of handing out game consoles and gift cards to a couple dozen fans, Cenat was forced to flee as thousands of people flooded the area. Some injuries were reported, and of course the police got involved.

Cenat has kept a low profile since then, but today he addressed the incident in a brief stream, saying that his only goal was to "give back to the community that made me who I am," and that he's "beyond disappointed" in the people who caused trouble.

"That's not cool. None of that is cool," Cenat said. "I'm beyond disappointed in the things that went on on Friday. And I want people to know that none of that was my intention. I had good intentions for this whole thing, and none of that was my intention. 

"I don't condone any of the things that went on that day. None of that is cool. I'm seeing random videos of people getting started on people's cars, and I'm asking myself while I'm watching the video, 'Why?'"

Cenat seemed genuinely surprised by the response to his giveaway, saying the incident led him "to realize the amount of not only power but influence that I have on people." He also acknowledged that if he does something like this again in the future, "I need to hit up the right people, make the right calls, and do it the correct way."

First, though, he has to deal with somewhat more immediate and pressing problems arising from last week's unpleasantness.

"I'm being hit with multiple charges," Cenat said. "For me streaming, I'm gonna have to chill for a little bit due to the fact that, one, I got court dates that I gotta appear to. My first court date is August 16, that's my first court date. I have things that I actually have to handle ... y'all not going to be seeing me for a little bit, and I mean like a little bit—it's not gonna be nothing long, okay."

A representative of New York City's Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information confirmed with PC Gamer that Cenat is facing charges of riot, inciting to riot, and unlawful assembly. Inciting to riot and unlawful assembly are both misdemeanors, while a charge of first degree riot is a class E felony, which carries a potential penalty of up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine. I've reached out to the Bronx District Attorney's office for more information, and will update if I receive a reply.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.