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Look: Joey Chestnut Reacts To Body-Slamming Protestor During Hot Dog Eating Contest

A bizarre scene unfolded at the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest on Monday. 

As Joey Chestnut and his fellow competitors scarfed down hot dogs at a furious pace, a few protestors hopped up on the stage. 

One of the protesters, donning a Darth Vader mask, bumped into Chestnut before unraveling a sign to display what he was protesting. 

Almost instinctively, Chestnut put the protestor in a headlock and body-slammed him the ground. It's a decision the greatest eater in history regrets. 

“As soon as a I grabbed the guy, I realized he was a kid,’’ Chestnut told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday. “I felt bad afterwards. I was just amped up, just focused on getting back to eating.

“It’s just unfortunate. I wish that it didn’t happen. It’s a bummer.'' 

Understandably, Chestnut was a bit spooked by the mask, especially in that moment when eating hot dogs was his one and only focus. 

“I was freaked out a little bit because he had the mask on,’’ Chestnut said. “I saw the mask and I think that’s when I realized he doesn’t belong here.’’

Chestnut can probably find some relief in the fact the "kid" is actually a 21-year-old named Scott Gilbertson. He's been charged with criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and harassment.

Gilbertson, in speaking with USA Today Sports, called Chestnut's actions "unnecessary."

“I felt like it was unnecessary for sure,’’ he said. “I had the mask on so I couldn’t see who it was. I assumed it was a security guard. And then when I saw the video, it was Joey. I was surprised.’’

Given everything going on in this country nowadays, Chestnut's reaction is completely reasonable. 

Perhaps the most remarkable fact is Gilbertson's protest didn't faze Chestnut whatsoever. He got 63 hot dogs down to win the contest for a 15th time.