Invisible Children Co-Founder Detained: SDPD

SDPD said he was found masturbating in public, vandalizing cars and possibly under the influence of something

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Jason Russell is shown in this NBCSanDiego interview after he launched the KONY 2012 campaign.

    A co-founder for Invisible Children was detained in Pacific Beach on Thursday for being drunk in public and masturbating, according to the San Diego Police Department.

    Jason Russell, 33,  was allegedly found masturbating in public, vandalizing cars and possibly under the influence of something, according to the SDPD. He was detained at the intersection of Ingraham Street and Riviera Road.

    Kony 2012 Filmmaker Detained: SDPD

    [DGO] Kony 2012 Filmmaker Detained: SDPD
    Police discuss the incident involving Invisible Children co-founder Jason Russell. The well-known filmmaker was detained by police on Thursday for acting irrationally in public.

    An SDPD spokesperson said the man detained was acting very strange, some may say bizarre.  Video: SDPD statement

    "Due to the nature of the detention, he was not arrested," Lt. Andra Brown said. "During the evaluation we learned we probably needed to take him to a medical facility because of statements he was saying."

    Police said they received several calls Thursday at 11:30 a.m. of a man in various stages of undress, running through traffic and screaming.

    Police described Russell as "in his underwear." He allegedly took off his underwear at one point, but it was back on by the time officers arrived, said police.

    Viral Kony 2012 Campaign Started in San Diego

    [DGO] Viral Kony 2012 Campaign Started in San Diego
    The same group that sparked a viral humanitarian video was once just a few San Diego friends with a camera they got off of eBay. Steven Luke asked Bob Goff, a Point Loma attorney and Ugandan consul to the United States to weigh in on the issues brought up in the Kony 2012 video created by Invisible Children.

    Several people attempted to calm him down and when officers arrived police said he was cooperative.

    "He was no problem for the police department however, during the evaluation we learned that we probably needed to take care of him," said an SDPD spokesperson. "We determined that medical treatment was a better course of action than arrest."

    Russell was taken to a medical center after the incident.

    Police could not determine that he formed a criminal intent. There are no criminal charges pending because it looks like this is more of a medical situation, said an SDPD spokesperson.

    Invisible Children's CEO Ben Keesey released a statement after 1:40 p.m. on Friday saying:

    “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.”

    Russell is one of the the founders responsible for the "Kony 2012" video that recently went viral. He is described on the organization's website as a co-founder and "our grand storyteller and dreamer." Russell is also described as a Christian and father to two children who wants to have nine more children with his wife he calls his "best friend for over 23 years."

    His wife, Danica Russell, released a statement Friday night addressing Russell's health. She wrote  Russel "has never had a substance abuse or drinking problem, and this episode wasn’t caused by either of those things. But yes, he did some irrational things brought on by extreme exhaustion and dehydration."

    She also said the "Kony 2012" film brought a lot of attention to Russell and he took many of the criticism's made against the film personally.

    The video "Kony 2012" calls for the capture of the Ugandan LRA leader whose fighting tactic involves kidnapping and torturing the country's innocent children.

    Russell spoke with NBCSanDiego explaining how the movement was exploding at the organization's headquarters in San Diego.
     
    "There are hundreds and thousands of propaganda - posters, stickers, buttons, t-shirts, that we are putting in boxes and are shipping all over the world," Russell said in a March 8 interview.

    At the Invisible Children headquarters in San Diego, volunteers and employees have been told not to comment. Workers removed a "Kony 2012" sign in the lobby and a security guard is at the entrance of the check-in area.

     
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