Jason Russell is the co-founder of the humanitarian group Invisible Children, who created the recent viral video "Kony 2012" which was released earlier this month. The video is about a fugitive Ugandan rebel leader, Joseph Kony who lead the Lord's Resistance Army. Kony is accused of recruiting children into sexual slavery and using them to fight against Uganda's government.
reported that Russell, 33, was arrested on Thursday morning. Lieutenant Andrea Brown of the San Diego Police Department told a local NBC affiliate that Russell was detained at around 11:30 am. He was masturbating in public, either drunk or under the influence of some unknown substance and was also vandalizing cars. He was arrested at the intersection of Riviera Drive and Ingraham Street in San Diego.
On their website, Russell’s activism group, Invisible Children describe him as being the “grand storyteller and dreamer” behind their operation.
Shortly after his arrest, a statement was issued by the group by the CEO, Ben Keesey. In a one-paragraph press release, which did not mention the arrest, Keesey says, “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,"
A spokesperson for the San Diego Police department said Russell was acting very strangely and in a bizarre manner. Police had received several 911 calls at 11:30 am that morning about a man in various stages of undress, who was screaming and running through traffic.
Lt. Brown said: "He was no problem for the police department, however, during the evaluation we learned that we probably needed to take care of him. So officers detained him and transferred him to a local medical facility for further evaluation and treatment."
advised that there had been allegations earlier in the month that the Invisible Children group were profiting from donations received via the video. The donations were meant to fund the ousting of Joseph Kony for his crimes in Uganda. However, Russell defended his charity group and said that the funds are "funneled through an array of different endeavors."