Invisible Children co-founder Jason Russell detained for being drunk in public - BlogPost - The Washington Post
Posted at 04:51 PM ET, 03/16/2012Invisible Children co-founder Jason Russell detained for being drunk in public
By Elizabeth Flock
A co-founder of Invisible Children was detained in San Diego last night, accused of public drunkenness, according to the San Diego police, NBC San Diego reports.
Jason Russell poses in New York on March 9. (Brendan McDermid - Reuters)Jason Russell, 33, the filmmaker behind the very viral “Kony 2012” campaign, was allegedly found masturbating in public and vandalizing cars, and was possibly under the influence, Lt. Andra Brown told the news organization. Brown said Russell was acting very strangely, according to NBC San Diego.
In a statement, Invisible Children CEO Ben Keesey said:
“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.”Police said they had received several calls Thursday morning of a man in his underwear, running through traffic screaming, according to NBC San Diego.
He cooperated with officers when they arrived at the scene, it said.
“He was no problem for the police department, however, during the evaluation we learned that we probably needed to take care of him,” said Brown at a news conference. “So officers detained him and transferred him to a local medical facility for further evaluation and treatment.”
NBC San Diego initially reported that it was an arrest.
A call to the San Diego police was not immediately returned.
Russell’s film “Kony 2012,” which called for the capture of Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, went viral last week, with millions of views on YouTube. Kony is the head of the Lord’s Resistance Army, a brutal group that kidnapped thousands of children over the last two decades.
The film received support from President Obama, celebrities like Oprah and public figures such as New York Times journalist Nic Kristof for drawing attention to the problems in Uganda. It also incurred criticism from both Ugandans and those who specialized in the region; Invisible Children called the criticism “myopic.”
Russell told the Christian Broadcasting Network that he first became interested in Africa during a church trip to Kenya in 2000.
On the Invisible Children Web site, Russell is described as “our grand storyteller and dreamer.” At many times, he has said that his role model is Walt Disney. He recently told Apolis Global, an advocacy Web site, that his dream was to one day conceive the “world's best and brightest academy for creatives.”
As a filmmaker, he has worked with Disney, on the film “Step Up 2,” and sold his musical “Moxie” to Steven Spielberg, according to his bio on TED Talks, a conference in which speakers get 20 minutes to share “ideas worth spreading.” Russell has also directed and choreographed over 20 theatrical stage productions and performed in over 100 different shows, the bio said. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California's film school. Russell is the father of two children.