ICYMI: Hot Dog Champ Chokes Out Protester While Winning Contest on Crutches

There are few things that feel more American than hot dogs on the 4th of July, and this is perhaps why the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest has long been a tradition like no other for Independence Day.

Part mastery, part gluttony, and fueled by sheer willingness for discomfort, Joey Chestnut is the undisputed king of the competition, racking up his 15th title, (his 7th in a row), this year at Coney Island.

But despite the fact that there was never any doubt that Chestnut would win, there was still quite a bit of drama during the main event, as the perennial champion was coming on a broken leg, and ended up having to choke-slam a protester in the middle of eating.

A bizarre incident unfolded Monday early on in the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest when a protestor rushed the stage and bumped into 15-time champion Joey Chestnut.

As security rushed to remove the protestor, Chestnut briefly took matters into his own hands – literally. Chestnut, in the middle of his competitive eating prowess with his face stuffed with hot dogs, grew frustrated with the distracting stage rusher and put the person into a mini chokehold.

A security guard removed the fan quickly after the brief exchange with Chestnut. And without skipping a beat, Chestnut went right back to eating hot dogs as the person was taken off the stage.

The wild moment was caught on video, and soon found its way to social media:

The protester’s sign alluded to a disdain for factory farming, referring to one of the Smithfield factories as a “Death Star”.

Chestnut fell short of his stated goal of eating 80 dogs during the round, but still managed to scarf down over 60, besting his nearest competitor by nearly two dozen.