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Self-proclaimed ‘incel’ accused of pepper spraying women in Southern California hate attacks

SANTA ANA, Calif. — A 25-year-old man has been charged with pepper spraying women during hate attacks in Southern California, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Johnny Deven Young faces multiple charges including assault and unlawful use of tear gas with enhancements for use of a deadly weapon and hate crimes, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said.

Prosecutors said Young posted videos of himself pepper spraying and harassing women online and self-identified as an “incel”, a member of an online community of men who call themselves involuntary celibates and express their rage against women.

Young was suspected of confronting female victims outside Costa Mesa bars and assaulting multiple people in attacks between November 2021 and April this year, police say.

“These charges send a very strong message to this entire community that we will not tolerate any form of violence against women,” District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement.

Young was arrested in San Mateo County and returned to Orange County, where he appeared in court on Monday. He is being held in lieu of $500,000 bond and his arraignment has been postponed until October 10.

A message seeking comment was left at the public defender’s office.

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