Takeru Kobayashi Released From Jail After Hot Dog Contest Craziness


In case you were doing something other than hanging at Coney Island or, um, watching the news yesterday, there was a bit of a fracas down at Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. When Joey Chestnut won his fourth consecutive title by eating 54 hot dogs in 10 minutes, his nemesis, Takeru Kobayashi, who’d been restricted from entering due to the conditions of his contract, took to the stage in protest wearing a “Free Kobi” T-shirt and was promptly arrested by police.

He was released today from jail in Brooklyn, his case adjourned until August 5. Adding insult to the injury of his arrest, they had no hot dogs at prison and instead gave him a peanut-butter sandwich (according to the New York Post) or a bologna sandwich (according to the Daily News) and a glass of milk to stave off his hunger. He’s been charged with four counts including disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, obstruction of governmental administration (impressive!), and trespassing.

Stupid, yes. But you have to feel for the guy. As he was released from jail this morning, he said he felt empty inside: “I’m really hungry. I wanted to eat hot dogs.” And as his lawyer Mario Romano explains, “All he wanted to do was eat quickly and publicly.” Aw. Free Kobi!