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Chestnut's top dog at Nathan's; Kobayashi collared

A Japanese eating champion who sat out this year's Coney Island Fourth of July hot dog contest apparently couldn't resist the temptation to hot-dog afterward - and got arrested.

Six-time champion Takeru Kobayashi was sitting in a jail cell Sunday after the annual Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest.

Earlier in the day, Joey "Jaws" Chestnut gobbled his way to a fourth consecutive championship. But he was suddenly upstaged by the surprise appearance of his biggest rival, Kobayashi, who crashed the eating platform after Chestnut's win and wrestled with police.

"Let him eat! Let him eat!" the crowd chanted as officers handcuffed the world's No. 3 professional eater, dubbed "The Tsunami." Kobayashi, 32, did not compete this year because he refused to sign a contract with Major League Eating - the fast food equivalent of the NFL. On his Japanese-language blog, he said he wanted to be free to enter contests sanctioned by other groups.

But a few days ago, he told Japan's Kyodo News: "I really want to compete in the [Coney Island] event." Wearing a black T-shirt that said "Free Kobi," Kobayashi mingled with the crowd, standing inside a police-barricaded pen just under the stage. When the eating ended, he slipped up the stage stairs.

Then, several security officers appeared and tried to usher him off. He grabbed a metal police barricade with both hands, clutching it tightly as the officers pulled at him. Finally, they dragged him down the stairs, with Kobayashi resisting.

He was expected to spend the night in jail awaiting an appearance in Brooklyn Criminal Court on charges of resisting arrest, trespassing and obstructing governmental administration.

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