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Police release animal rights activists who interrupted Coney Island hot dog contest

CONEY ISLAND, Brooklyn — Police took five people into custody after trying to disrupt the annual Nathan’s Famous July Fourth hot dog eating contest in New York. They were later released without any charges against them.

About midway through the men’s competition, some people amid the crowd of spectators at the contest on the Coney Island boardwalk appeared to be trying to unfold a black banner. Police stationed at the event rushed into the crowd, handcuffed the demonstrators and took them away.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals had members giving away free vegan hot dogs outside the event, but a spokeswoman says the people arrested inside weren’t with PETA.

The demonstrators say they’re from a group called Direct Action Everywhere, and want Nathan’s to stop holding the contest.

The contest also featured a 10th win for Joey “Jaws” Chestnut. He continues his reign as the chowing champion at the annual July Fourth hot dog eating contest at Nathan’s Famous in New York.

He beat his own record and downed 72 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes.

Miki Sudo notched a fourth-time win in the women’s division. The Las Vegas woman ate 41 hot dogs and buns.