Video allegedly shows 'Kony 2012's' Jason Russell naked, acting strangely
A video emerged Friday that purports to show Jason Russell, who appears in the "Kony 2012" video, during a meltdown in San Diego's Pacific Beach neighborhood that prompted police to detain him and take him to a mental health facility for observation.
The video on TMZ.com shows a naked man screaming and angrily pounding the pavement with his hands. The man's face cannot be seen, but TMZ reported that it is Russell.
San Diego Police Lt. Andra Browns told The Times that Russell was not arrested, but was taken to a hospital for observation on Thursday. Police said they found Russell in Pacific Beach, dressed in underwear. He appeared to be masturbating and to be vandalizing cars. Brown said he may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Invisible Children, a San Diego-based nonprofit that produced the viral "Kony 2012" video, confirmed the hospitalization.
Ben Keesey, the company's chief executive officer, said Russell was suffering from exhaustion, dehydration and malnutrition.
"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," Keesey said in a statement. "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, about brutal Ugandan militia leader Joseph Kony, became an Internet sensation and has been viewed about 80 million times on YouTube.
Russell appears in the video, asking his young son: "Can I tell you the bad guy's name?"
Russell then shows him Kony's photograph and explains to viewers that the Lord's Resistance Army abducts children like him for use as sex slaves and child soldiers.
-- Tony Perry in San Diego and Richard Winton in Los Angeles
Photo: Jason Russell in 2010. Credit: Fox 5 San Diego