Joey Chestnut isn’t happy with the best way he dealt with a shocking incident at this yr’s Nathan’s Well-known Annual Scorching Canine Consuming Contest.
Chestnut — who earned his fifteenth mustard belt on Monday on the long-running competitors — says he “felt dangerous” for placing a protester who rushed the stage mid-competition right into a chokehold.
“As quickly as I grabbed the man, I noticed he was a child,’’ Chestnut stated in an interview with USA Today Sports’ Josh Peter. “I felt dangerous afterwards. I used to be simply amped up, simply centered on getting again to consuming.”
“It’s simply unlucky. I want that it didn’t occur. It’s a bummer,” he added.
Throughout Chestnut’s newest championship efficiency, three protesters from animal rights activist group Direct Motion In every single place stormed the stage because the titan competitor was scarfing down his 18th sizzling canine.
Whereas carrying “Star Wars” masks and holding up indicators that learn “Expose Smithfield’s Deathstar,” the activists crashed the occasion to protest Smithfield Meals — the pork provider for Nathan’s Well-known.
One of many protesters sporting a Darth Vader masks nudged Chestnut out of his place earlier than flashing his signal to the gang.
Chestnut, who was already injured and utilizing crutches as a result of a ruptured tendon in his leg when he arrived on the perform that day, then reacted by placing the protester in a chokehold and wrestling him to the bottom.
As if nothing occurred, Chestnut instantly continued consuming his frankfurters after taking down the hid disruptor. The trio of protesters have been eliminated by safety.
The protester whom Chestnut grabbed was recognized as 21-year-old Scott Gilbertson of Berkeley, California. He has since been charged with prison trespass, disorderly conduct and harassment, in line with the USA Today.
The outlet additionally spoke to Gilbertson, who stated he didn’t notice within the second that Chestnut administered the chokehold, which he known as “pointless.”
“I assumed it was a safety guard,” he stated. “After which after I noticed the video, it was Joey. I used to be shocked.’’
Gilbertson stated he “nudged” Chestnut and understood why he may need had reacted that manner.
Chestnut advised USA Right this moment that though the altercation appeared “extreme,” he reacted the best way he did as a result of the protester was masked.
“I used to be freaked out just a little bit as a result of he had the masks on,’’ Chestnut stated. “I noticed the masks and I believe that’s after I realized he doesn’t belong right here.’’
“It appears to be like extreme,’’ he added. “However in my place, I don’t know, I had been ready a very long time for the competition and I want [Gilbertson] had simply stood by me and I by no means would have touched him.”
The 2 different protesters concerned — Robert Yamada of Phoenix and Joshua Marxen of Santa Clara, California — have been additionally charged with prison trespass and disorderly conduct, in line with authorities.
The New York-born quick meals chain previously got here beneath fireplace from Direct Motion In every single place over alleged employee security, public well being and animal welfare points.
As for the award-winning sizzling canine fanatic, Chestnut stated the incident prevented him from guzzling down about three extra sizzling canine within the competitors.
However, he was topped champion after quickly chowing down on 63 sizzling canine and buns, simply 15 and a half greater than the second-place winner Geoffrey Esper.
The highly-anticipated Nathan’s Well-known Annual Scorching Canine Consuming Contest takes place yearly on July Fourth in Coney Island, New York.