A co-founder of Invisible Children was detained in San Diego last night, accused of public drunkenness, according to the San Diego police, NBC San Diego reports.
Jason Russell, 33, the filmmaker behind the very viral “Kony 2012” campaign, was allegedly found masturbating in public and vandalizing cars, and was possibly under the influence, Lt. Andra Brown told the news organization. Brown said Russell was acting very strangely, according to NBC San Diego.
In a statement, Invisible Children CEO Ben Keesey said:
“Jason Russell was unfortunately hospitalized yesterday suffering from exhaustion, dehydration, and malnutrition. He is now receiving medical care and is focused on getting better. The past two weeks have taken a severe emotional toll on all of us, Jason especially, and that toll manifested itself in an unfortunate incident yesterday. Jason’s passion and his work have done so much to help so many, and we are devastated to see him dealing with this personal health issue. We will always love and support Jason, and we ask that you give his entire family privacy during this difficult time.”
Police said they had received several calls Thursday morning of a man in his underwear, running through traffic screaming, according to NBC San Diego.
He cooperated with officers when they arrived at the scene, it said.
“He was no problem for the police department, however, during the evaluation we learned that we probably needed to take care of him,” said Brown at a news conference. “So officers detained him and transferred him to a local medical facility for further evaluation and treatment.”
NBC San Diego initially reported that it was an arrest.
A call to the San Diego police was not immediately returned.
Russell’s film “Kony 2012,” which called for the capture of Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, went viral last week, with millions of views on YouTube. Kony is the head of the Lord’s Resistance Army, a brutal group that kidnapped thousands of children over the last two decades.
The film received support from President Obama, celebrities like Oprah and public figures such as New York Times journalist Nic Kristof for drawing attention to the problems in Uganda. It also incurred criticism from both Ugandans and those who specialized in the region; Invisible Children called the criticism “myopic.”