A political activist who helped create a documentary that quickly grew into an Internet sensation was receiving “medical care” today following his arrest for an allegedly lewd, bizarre public outburst in Pacific Beach.
San Diego police took 33-year-old Jason Russell into custody late Thursday morning after he allegedly fondled himself while running and screaming in various stages of undress near the intersection of Ingraham Street and Riviera Road, according to NBC San Diego.
Russell, whose “Kony 2012” expose on a brutal African warlord has become one of the most viral online videos ever, was cooperative with officers as they took him into custody, the news station reported.
He was taken to a medical facility for an evaluation and was not expected to face charges, according to police.
A statement from Invisible Children, the San Diego-based agency that produced the film, blamed the incident on “exhaustion, dehydration and malnutrition.”
“Jason Russell was unfortunately hospitalized yesterday suffering from exhaustion, dehydration and malnutrition,” according to the statement. “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.”
“Kony 2012” has brought a massive amount of sympathy for the plight of Ugandan children, who for years have been forced by warlord Joseph Kony into militias or forced to be sex slaves.
It has also opened the door to criticism of Invisible Children, which has been accused of having questionable financial practices. The group has been trying to raise attention about problems in Africa for several years.