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‘Incel,’ accused of pepper-spraying women in Costa Mesa, arrested, makes first court appearance

 Johnny Deven Young is suspected of assault and hate crimes against multiple women.
Johnny Deven Young, 25, who is suspected of assault and hate crimes against multiple women outside local bars in incidents dating back to November was arrested last week and made his first court appearance on Monday.
(Courtesy of Costa Mesa Police Department)

A self-described “incel” — involuntary celibate — charged with felony hate crimes after allegedly posting a video of himself sexually harassing and pepper-spraying women in Costa Mesa made his first court appearance Monday, following his arrest five days earlier.

Johnny Deven Young, 25, faces multiple felony assault and weapons-related charges with enhancements for the commission of alleged hate crimes, in addition to two misdemeanor counts of violating a person’s civil rights. He had been sought by police for months until his arrest in San Mateo County, Orange County district attorney’s officials said in a news release Tuesday.

Authorities believe the defendant assaulted or harassed six people in three separate incidents. On Nov. 21, Young allegedly approached a woman and a man near a bar in the Triangle Square shopping center as they were trying to help another friend who had fallen onto the ground, Costa Mesa police said. The defendant was accused of making lewd comments and asking to see the woman’s genitals, then spraying her and the man, who had attempted to stop Young, with a chemical agent.

Later, authorities became aware of footage allegedly posted to social media by Young in April depicting two other altercations he had with women in the same area. In one, the person filming the video approaches a woman who is in tears while walking through a parking garage. He asks if he can “hook up” with her almost immediately after she tells him that her car had just been stolen. After she rejects his advances, the person holding the camera makes comments about her genitals and cusses her out.

In the second incident in the video, the man recording it describes his penis to a group of women sitting on a bench. One of them kicks him, tells him to go away and throws an object at him. The man then pepper-sprays her and a woman standing behind her, as well as another who tried to stop him as he fled.

Young’s bail was set at $500,000 during his first court appearance Monday, and he remained in custody at the Theo Lacy Jail as of Tuesday. He was scheduled to appear for an arraignment hearing Oct. 22.

The public defender assigned to represent him could not immediately be reached for comment.

Young has a prior misdemeanor hate crime conviction in Nevada, O.C. D.A. officials said, and his last known city of residence was Las Vegas. Police there arrested him and one other man on suspicion of making false threats in an act of terrorism in August 2019. The two of them were accused of shouting “white power” and saying they were going to “shoot up the place” shortly before they were ejected from the XS Club at Encore, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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Updates

1:57 p.m. Sept. 27, 2022: This story has been updated to include additional information about Young’s arrest and first court appearnce.


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