MANILA, Philippines – The co-founder of the group behind a viral video on African warlord Joseph Kony has been detained by police after running through the streets in “various stages of undress,” screaming and stopping traffic.
Video released by TMZ shows Jason Russell of Invisible Children naked in the streets of San Diego, California in what TMZ called a “naked meltdown.” (See video below.)
Quoting the police, NBC San Diego said Russell was allegedly found masturbating in public, vandalizing cars and possibly under the influence of something.
Russell was taken to the hospital for medical evaluation. Ben Keesey, the group’s chief executive officer, said Russell was suffering from exhaustion, dehydration and malnutrition.
The detention came 2 weeks after the video was released. “The past 2 weeks have taken an emotional effect on all of us, Jason especially and that toll manifested itself in an unfortunate incident yesterday,” Keesey said.
Police transcripts show neighbors called in about a man running around in his underwear “banging his hands on the ground, screaming, incoherent… People are trying to calm him down, he’s been stopping traffic.”
San Diego police said Russell was detained but never arrested and no charges will be filed against him. (San Diego police statement below).
Jason Russell’s wife Danica released a statement Friday night saying he “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.”
Invisible Children helped make the leader of rebel group Lord’s Resistance Army a household name. Its 30-minute documentary on Kony (see below) garnered more than 40 million views on YouTube and more than 13 million on Vimeo. It has been shared countless times on Facebook and Twitter. The group uses video to push its activism – in this case to stop Kony’s brutal methods which include enlisting children in his army. – Rappler.com