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Man who records himself making sexually explicit comments to women sought by Costa Mesa police

A man who on several occasions recorded himself making sexually explicit comments to women and sometimes spraying victims with a chemical agent is being sought by Costa Mesa police and is possibly facing a hate crime charge.

Authorities began investigating the suspect after an assault last November.

Police responded to a call about two people being pepper sprayed about 1:25 a.m. Nov. 21.

They discovered two victims were at a local bar and had been separated. A 29-year-old woman later saw a 24-year-old man on the ground and stopped to help him when a man confronted her.

The suspect, later identified as Johnny Deven Young, began “verbally harassing” the woman, using “explicit language, saying he wanted to see her genitals, and asked to have sexual relations with her,” police said in a news release.

The man who was on the ground saw Young harassing the woman and ran to help her. But as the man approached, Young allegedly used a chemical agent to spray the man and the woman, police said.

Young was able to get away before authorities arrived.

Then, on April 20, Costa Mesa police learned about a video posted on social media of a man confronting women with sexual explicit language and later spraying them with a chemical agent.

The video showed two different incidents. In one, the man, later identified as Young, verbally harasses a woman and follows her through a parking structure. The second incident involved several woman sitting on a bench at the Triangle retail center in Costa Mesa, police said.

Investigators learned Young has a history of targeting or stalking women outside of clubs, bars and in fitness centers. He allegedly approaches and follows women while using explicit language and says he wants to have sex with them while recording the encounters.

Young, 25, is wanted on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, hate crime and discharge of tear gas, police said.

He is believed to be a transient, staying with friends or living in his van, and his last known address was in Las Vegas.

Young is driving a white and green Chevrolet cargo van that has no license plates.

Anyone with additional information about Young or the incidents tied to him can contact Detective Erik Fricke at 714-754-4908 or [email protected], or Sgt. Jose Morales at 714-754-4933.

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