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.
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.
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.
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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