A 25-year-old Anaheim man is facing assault and hate crime charges in connection with violent attacks on women in Orange County, prosecutors announced Tuesday.
Johnny Deven Young has posted videos on his YouTube channel that show him sexually harassing and pepper spraying women in at least two attacks between November 2021 and April 2022 in Costa Mesa, according to the district attorney’s office. Orange County.
The incidents happened near the Triangle Square shopping center. In the November 2021 incident, a 24-year-old woman was leaving a bar when Young verbally harassed her, asking to see her genitals and to have sex with her, police say. Young allegedly sprayed a chemical agent on the woman and her companion, a 29-year-old man.
Prosecutors said Young was a self-proclaimed “incel,” a portmanteau of “involuntary bachelors,” an online subculture of disgruntled men who espouse misogynistic views and express sexual frustration at their inability to attract women.
Once the videos began circulating on social media, the Costa Mesa Police Department identified Young as a suspect in the Orange County attacks.
At the time, Young was arrested and convicted of a misdemeanor theft of information in San Mateo County. He was later transferred to the Orange County Jail.
In the Orange County attacks, Young was charged with four counts of felony assault causing grievous bodily harm, four counts of unlawful use of tear gas, four counts of felony use of a deadly weapon and five offenses of violation of civil rights.
Prosecutors are looking for hate crime enhancements that could lengthen Young’s prison sentence. He faces up to 13 years in prison if convicted.
“No one should have to live in fear of being indiscriminately attacked and then publicly humiliated on the internet because of their gender,” Orange County Dist said. Atti. Todd Spitzer said in a statement Tuesday. “This behavior is disgusting and the celebration of this behavior by like-minded people is totally unacceptable. These accusations send a very strong message to this entire community that we will not tolerate any form of violence against women.
The pepper spray attacks were not the first time Young had been arrested for violent threats. In August 2019, he and another man shouted “white power” at XS Nightclub at Encore in Las Vegas and threatened to “shoot on the spot” after being evicted, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The men were charged with making false threats as part of an act of terrorism.
Young was later convicted of harassment motivated by bias or hate and was sentenced to one year in the Clark County Detention Center.
In the Orange County case, Young’s bail was set at $500,000. His arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 10 at the Central Justice Center in Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana.