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Kai Cenat Resolves Union Square Melee Charges With Apology, Officials Say

The social media star Kai Cenat will not be prosecuted on charges of inciting a riot in Manhattan after agreeing to post a public apology and paying for the damage caused when thousands of his fans erupted in a chaotic melee in Union Square last summer, officials said on Tuesday.

A spokesman for Alvin L. Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, said prosecutors planned to drop their case against Mr. Cenat and two other men, Denzel Dennis and Muktar Din, in exchange for the apology and $57,000 in restitution.

Mr. Cenat paid $55,000 of the restitution total, which went to the Union Square Partnership to cover landscaping and other costs, the district attorney’s office said. Mr. Dennis and Mr. Din paid the balance.

Mr. Cenat posted the apology on his Snapchat account on Tuesday, and Mr. Bragg’s spokesman, Douglas Cohen, said the prosecution would be dropped once the apology had been online for 24 hours. Mr. Dennis and Mr. Din were expected to post the apology as well.

Mr. Cenat, noting that he is from New York, wrote in the apology that what began as a promotional event had quickly turned into “an unsafe situation for the people who live and work in the neighborhood, first responders and my followers that attended the event.”

“It was never my intent for it to get so out of hand,” he added, “and I have learned a very valuable lesson that social media is a very powerful tool to do good, but it can also cause dangerous, unwanted situations if it is not used properly.”

The Union Square episode, which began shortly after 3 p.m. on Aug. 4 and lasted several hours, resulted in 65 arrests (nearly half of them of underage youths); injuries to police officers and some of those in the crowd; and damage to food carts, police vehicles and stores, officials said.

The events began when Mr. Cenat, who has millions of followers on Twitch and other social media platforms, summoned his fans to the area, where he said he would give away video game consoles. The gathering lacked a city permit, and the police learned of it from a social media post only hours before the crowd began swelling, officials said at the time.

Hordes of young people were soon packing Union Square Park and spilling onto the surrounding streets and sidewalks and blocking cars and pedestrians. The Union Square Greenmarket shut down early, and subway trains began bypassing the Union Square station.

Within an hour, the Police Department had initiated a Level 4 mobilization, its highest-level response. Some in the crowd were peaceful, but others were not. One cluster of people stormed a construction site. Building materials, rocks, bottles, basketballs, a computer and fireworks sailed through the crowd.

“I believe he saw that day how much influence he really has,” Jeffrey Maddrey, the Police Department’s chief of department, said of Mr. Cenat afterward.

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