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‘Kony 2012′ filmmaker arrested for public masturbation

By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, March 16, 2012 16:50 EDT
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Invisible Children co-founder Jason Russell. Screenshot via The Today Show.
 
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Update (below): Video emerges showing filmmaker’s meltdown

The co-founder of the charity group behind the fastest-spreading Internet viral video ever was arrested Thursday for allegedly being drunk in public, vandalizing cars and masturbating, NBC San Diego reported Friday afternoon.

Jason Russell, 33, a filmmaker, was reportedly acting strangely when police picked him up off Ingraham Street in San Diego around noon on Thursday. Officers claim he was seen undressing as he ran through traffic, screaming all the way. Russell did not try to resist officers, the report notes, and was sent to a medical facility for treatment. It is not yet clear what substance he was on, if any.

Russell’s charitable organization, called Invisible Children, attributes him as “our grand storyteller and dreamer.”

“A filmmaker by trade, Jason graduated from the University of Southern California’s film school with a degree in Cinema Production,” the group’s website says. “He admires Oprah, Bono, Steven Spielberg, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Baz Luhrmann, and Dan Eldon and believes wholeheartedly in magic and the impossible. Already a proud papa to Gavin Danger and Everley Darling, Jason wants to have nine more children with his beautiful wife Danica‚ the girl who has been his best friend for over 23 years.”

Invisible Children CEO Ben Keesey said Friday that Russell was 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,” a prepared statement given to NBC San Diego read. “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.”

A 30-minute film released by the group last week has already achieved nearly 80 million views. It calls for U.S. forces to invade Uganda to find Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, a group of gurella fighters in Uganda known for kidnapping children and forcing them to become soldiers.

President Barack Obama last year dedicated about 100 soldiers to Uganda to play a supporting role in that country’s search for Kony.

Update: Video emerges showing filmmaker’s meltdown

Video of a disturbed, raving and naked person identified as Jason Russell has been published by celebrity gossip website TMZ. The video appears to show a naked man shouting at vehicles and slamming his hands on the ground and on his chest in a frantic manner. Raw Story was not able to independently confirm if it was in fact Russell.

The video is below. It contains adult content and should be considered not safe for work.

Updated from an original version.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
 
 
 
 
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