NEW YORK -- Japanese eating champion Takeru Kobayashi has been freed after a night in a New York jail over a hot dog scuffle.
Kobayashi wore a black T-shirt bearing the message "Free Kobi" as he pleaded not guilty in Brooklyn on Monday to charges of obstruction of governmental administration, resisting arrest, trespassing and disorderly conduct.
He had jumped onstage after Sunday's annual Fourth of July hot dog eating contest at Coney Island that he sat out because of a contract dispute.
Kobayashi said Monday that he'd gone there as a spectator, but fans began chanting for him. He says he went onstage "in the heat of it," hoping officials would let him participate.
Joey "Jaws" Chestnut of San Jose, Calif., won the contest. He downed 54 hot dogs in 10 minutes.