Kony narrator sent screaming to hospital

Man behind warlord internet sensation found wandering in his underwear in incoherent state

San Diego

The narrator of the "Kony 2012" video about a brutal Ugandan warlord that has become an internet sensation has been detained in hospital after witnesses saw him running through the streets of San Diego in his underwear, screaming, and banging his fists on the pavement.

Jason Russell, 33, of the non-profit group Invisible Children, is being treated for exhaustion less than two weeks after the release of the 30-minute video about Joseph Kony. Ben Keesey, Invisible Children's chief executive, said: "Jason Russell is 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."

San Diego police transcripts show neighbours began calling about 11.30am on Thursday to report that a man was running around in his underwear in the city's Pacific Beach area. "(Subject) is at the corner, banging his hands on the ground, screaming, incoherent," the transcript continues. "People are trying to calm him down, he's been stopping traffic." He was taken to a hospital but not arrested; no charges are planned.

His wife, Danica, denying alcohol or drug use had triggered the behaviour, said: "We thought a few thousand people would see the film but, in less than a week, millions of people around the world saw it. While that attention was great for raising awareness about Joseph Kony, it also brought a lot of attention to Jason and, because of how personal the film is. Many of the attacks against it were also very personal, and Jason took them very hard."

Mr Russell narrates the video, which has been viewed more than 80 million times on YouTube. In it, Mr Russell talks to his young son, Gavin, about Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army. At one point, the boy sums up what his dad does for a living. "You stop the bad guys from being mean," he says. At the end, Mr Russell says, "At the end of my life I want to say that the world we left behind is one Gavin can be proud of, one that doesn't allow Joseph Konys and child soldiers."

The video's success has brought heightened scrutiny to Invisible Children over its tactics and spending practices. The group has been criticised for not spending enough directly on the people it intends to help and for oversimplifying the 26-year-old conflict involving the LRA and its leader, Kony, a bush fighter wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

The group accepts the video overlooks many nuances, but said it functions as a "first entry point" that puts the conflict "in an easily understandable format". Mr Keesey released a video on Monday to respond to questions about the group's finances, including the cost of travel. He said money that directly benefits the cause accounted for more than 80 per cent of its spending from 2007 to 2011.

"I understand why a lot of people are wondering, 'Is this just some slick, kind of fly-by-night, slacktivist thing?' when actually it's not at all," Mr Keesey said. "It's connected to a really deep, thoughtful, very intentional and strategic campaign."

AP

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Male Behaviour Support Assistant vacancy in Penarth

£55 - £65 per day + Travel Scheme and Free Training: Randstad Education Cardif...

BA/PM,EMIR/Dodd-Frank,London,£450-650P/D

£450 - £650 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

SEN Learning Support Assistant vacancy in Penarth

£55 - £65 per day + Travel Scheme and Free Training: Randstad Education Cardif...

Key stage 1 and 2 teachers required for the Vale of Glamorgan

£90 - £110 per day + Travel Scheme & Free Training: Randstad Education Cardiff...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz