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Kony 2012's Jason Russell detained for masturbating in public

Jason Russell, co-founder of Invisible Children and filmmaker behind the Kony 2012 video, was detained in San Diego for masturbating in public and vandalizing cars after police responded to calls about a man in his underwear.

Jason russell public masturbation 20120316Enlarge
Jason Russell, a co-founder of the Kony 2012 campaign, was detained March 15, 2012, by San Diego police on accusations he masturbated in public and vandalized cars. (Screengrab/YouTube)

Jason Russell, the filmmaker behind the Kony 2012 viral video, was detained* last night in San Diego for masturbating in public and vandalizing cars, and then hospitalized for "exhaustion, dehydration and malnutrition."

Russell, a co-founder of the group Invisible Children that created the video to raise awareness about Joseph Kony, leader of the brutal Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in Central Africa, was detained by police Thursday night, according to NBC San Diego.

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Police told reporters that Russell, 33, was allegedly masturbating in public and vandalizing cars, possibly while under the influence of alcohol.

Officers had responded to calls about a man "in his underwear" who was running into traffic and screaming, NBC San Diego reported.

TMZ obtained video that it said records Russell's episode. He can be seen naked from a distance as cars pass.

 


 

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In a statement released today, Invisible Children said that Russell was hospitalized Thursday after "suffering from exhaustion, dehydration, and malnutrition."

"He is now receiving medical care and is focused on getting better," the statement said.

"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."

The Kony 2012 video exploded onto social media sites last week, drawing nearly 80 million views on YouTube.

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But critics say the video, in which Russell explains Kony and the LRA to his young son, is condescending to Africans, and misleading about Kony's current whereabouts. 

According to Russell's bio on the Invisible Children website, the film school graduate admires Oprah, Bono, Steven Spielberg and Walt Disney. He is married with two children and "wants to have nine more." 

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* Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly said Russell had been arrested.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120316/jason-russell-arrested-masturbating-public-kony-2012-viral-video