Las Vegas man accused in pepper spray attacks on women in L.A. area

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Johnny Young. (Costa Mesa, Calif., Police Department)

LOS ANGELES (KLAS/KTLA) — A Las Vegas man is wanted in connection with video-recorded incidents outside bars in California – which reportedly show him pepper-spraying women who turn down his sexual advances, the Costa Mesa Police Department says.

Johnny Young is known to drive a Chevy cargo van with a green stripe. A report in California indicates Young refers to it as his “rape van.” (Photo: Costa Mesa Police Department)

Johnny Young, 25, faces assault charges in Costa Mesa, Nevada, and police there have issued a statement asking for the public’s help in finding him.

Costa Mesa police said Young is “a self-described involuntary celibate (incel).” He confronted women outside bars and used vulgar and explicit language, and the incidents led to assaults with pepper spray, according to KTLA in Los Angeles. According to police, Young drives a Chevy cargo van with a green stripe that he refers to as his “rape van.”

KTLA spoke to victims of the incidents, who say they were waiting for an Uber outside a nightclub when a man, who they identified as Young, approached and asked to see their “private parts” before spraying at them.

Videos of the incidents were posted to Young’s social media accounts, police say.

Police say Young, whose last known address is in Las Vegas, has connections to L.A., Orange and San Diego counties.

Young is believed to be driving a white and green Chevy cargo van with no license plates. He’s described as being 6″ tall and between 180-190 pounds with long blond hair.

The term “incel” is a self-referential identifier by someone who is involuntarily celibate, Merriam-Webster explains. The concept emerged from internet forums like Reddit and is generally associated with younger men who have contempt for women, who they view as denying them sex.

Self-identified incels have been related to toxic online spaces, where groups are known to engage in misogynist dialogues. Incel culture has also been tied to men who have performed mass acts of violence, including in the U.S. and Canada, BBC explains.

If you have any information about these incidents or Young, you’re asked to contact Det. Erik Fricke at efricke@costamesaca.gov and/or (714) 754-4908, or Sgt. Jose Morales at (714) 754-4933.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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