'Kony' director detained, hospitalized after incident
Published Friday, March 16, 2012 10:02PM EDT
One of the creators of the viral "Kony 2012" video campaign has been detained for allegedly vandalizing cars and masturbating in public.
Jason Russell, the 33-year-old co-founder of the group Invisible Children, was detained by police in San Diego on Thursday, according to force spokeswoman Andra Brown.
No criminal charges are pending and Russell is being detained under a 5150 hold, which under California law allows citizens to be held for three days, according to TMZ.
Russell is reportedly receiving psychiatric assessments.
Russell, who has been described as a Christian father of two kids, was acting very strange when officers picked him up, Brown said.
"Due to the nature of the detention, he was not arrested," Brown told reporters. "During the evaluation we learned we probably needed to take him to a medical facility because of statements he was saying."
Police noted that Russell was found "in his underwear" and that several people had tried to calm him down before police arrived.
"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. "We determined that medical treatment was a better course of action than arrest."
Invisible Children CEO Ben Keesey said in a release that "Jason Russell was unfortunately hospitalized yesterday suffering from exhaustion, dehydration, and malnutrition."
Keesey said that Russell "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."
He added: "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."
The "Kony 2012" video sparked a massive reaction earlier this month when it was released, publicizing the alleged war crimes of Uganda's Joseph Kony.
Russell directed the video, and on the Invisible Children website, he is described as "our grand storyteller and dreamer."