Jason Russell, 33, co-founder of Invisible Children, was detained in San Diego, CA on Thursday for public intoxication and masturbation, according to the San Diego Police Department.
Several witnessed called into the station to complain that a man was walking around the Pacific Beach area, vandalizing cars and appearing to be under the influence, reports NBC San Diego.
SDPD spokesperson, Lt. Andra Brown, said that Russell was acting “very bizarre”:
“Due to the nature of the detention, he was not arrested,” Lt. Brown said. “During the evaluation we learned we probably needed to take him to a medical facility because of statements he was saying.”
Witnesses claim that he had stripped out of his underwear, but had them back on by the time police arrived. At that point, authorities said that it was obvious that Russell needed medical attention:
“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.”
Invisible Children’s CEO Ben Keesey released the following statement on Friday:
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 creators of the “Kony 2012″ viral video that attempted to make Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army leader, Joseph Kony “famous” for his kidnapping and slaughter of innocent children. The video made history, garnering over 100 million views in 6 days.
The organization came under fire after reports surfaced that they misappropriated funds — with only a third going to the causes they claim to support, according to the Better Business Bureau — and also embellished Kony’s lasting influence in Uganda. According to Dr. Beatrice Mpora, director of health organization Kairos, Invisible Children has done more harm than good:
“What that video says is totally wrong, and it can cause us more problems than help us,” she said. “There has not been a single soul from the LRA here since 2006. Now we have peace, people are back in their homes, they are planting their fields, they are starting their businesses. That is what people should help us with.”
According to NBC San Diego, employees at the Invisible Children headquarters were told not to comment and a “Kony 2012″ sign was removed from the lobby.