PUBLISHED: 18:22 EST, 16 March 2012 | UPDATED: 18:22 EST, 16 March 2012
The director of the ‘Kony 2012’ viral video has been arrested for allegedly being drunk and masturbating in public.
Jason Russell, co-founder of the charity Invisible Children, was hospitalised after being found behaving strangely on the streets of San Diego.
He was arrested yesterday morning following reports that he was seen vandalising cars and running through traffic wearing just his underwear.
Mr Russell, 33, was calm and co-operative when apprehended by police, according to NBC San Diego, but seemed to be under the influence of alcohol.
Although he was not charged with a crime, officials decided that he should be committed to hospital for medical treatment following the incident.
‘During the evaluation we learned that we probably needed to take care of him,’ a police spokesman said.
‘So officers detained him and transferred him to a local medical facility for further evaluation and treatment.’
Ben Keesey, chief executive of Invisible Children, the charity set up in 2004 by Mr Russell and two friends, issued a statement of support for his colleague.
‘Jason Russell was unfortunately hospitalised yesterday suffering from exhaustion, dehydration, and malnutrition,’ he 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.
‘We will always love and support Jason, and we ask that you give his entire family privacy during this difficult time.’
The charity, which aims to raise awareness of the atrocities committed by the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, sprang to worldwide fame last week after releasing an online video entitled ‘Kony 2012’.
The 30-minute film, directed by Mr Russell, documents the activities of LRA leader Joseph Kony, notorious for his reign of terror in central Africa and particularly his use of child soldiers.
It has garnered 80million hits on YouTube, and attracted widespead support from celebrities and members of the public.
However, critics claim that the film over-simplifies a complex conflict and diverts attention from more pressing causes.
Father-of-two Mr Russell is an evangelical Christian who is described by Invisible Children as ‘our grand storyteller and dreamer’.