Austin American-Statesman - - TUESDAYBRIEFING -

Takeru Kobayashi, ar­rested at a July Fourth hot dog-eat­ing con­test, was freed Mon­day af­ter a night in jail, look­ing a lit­tle weary and say­ing he was hun­gry.

The Ja­panese eat­ing cham­pion was freed by a Brook­lyn, N.Y., judge af­ter he pleaded not guilty. The slim 32-year-old said he con­sumed only a sandwich and some milk in jail.

A con­tract dis­pute had kept Kobayashi out of Sun­day’s an­nual Nathan’s Fa­mous In­ter­na­tional Hot Dog Eat­ing Con­test, but he showed up any­way.

“I was there as a spec­ta­tor, just to cheer on my bud­dies,” he said through an in­ter­preter out­side court Mon­day. Fans chanted for him, and “in the heat of it, I jumped on the stage, hop­ing they would let me eat.”

Kobayashi was charged with ob­struc­tion of gov­ern­men­tal ad­min­is­tra­tion, re­sist­ing ar­rest, tres­pass­ing and dis­or­derly con­duct.

Takeru Kobayashi

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