The name Paul Gonzales may be unfamiliar to you, but for single women in Los Angeles, he’s become known as the infamous ‘dine-and-dash dater’.
Gonzales would employ a simple tactic, take a woman out for a date, a nice meal at a restaurant, eat his food and then make a quick exit without paying – a manoeuvre he pulled off on at least eight different occasions. As someone who lives day-to-day on a modest salary, I totally get it, but wouldn’t employee his dating tactics.
On the other hand, it’s these kinds of shenanigans which immediately reinforce the stereotype that all men are trash – we’re not all like that, I swear.
But Gonzales’ days of finessing unsuspecting women out of a free meal are over. After he was arrested back in July, he now faces up to 13 years in prison.
Over the past six months women in the L.A. area, who fell for his tricks and charms, have accused the 45-year-old scammer of matching with them on a dating app, inviting them out on lavish meals, eating whatever he’s ordered before ditching them to take care of the bill.
During his ‘dine-and-dash’ escapades he’s alleged to have dined on free wine and steaks before his antics eventually caught up with him. Police arrested Gonzales after a warrant for his arrest was issued in July, he is now in police custody and is looking at felony charges of theft and extortion, according to KTLA [GDPR block in the EU].
Speaking to CBS LA earlier this year, one of his alleged victims, who has not been named said:
He’s a very, very handsome man. His eyes are absolutely gorgeous.
Another unnamed victim states Gonzales took her on a date and ordered ‘a glass of pinot, a Caesar salad with a side of shrimp, a steak, and a baked potato’ during their blind date, in which he – you guessed it – made a quick exit before paying.
The victim said:
He left maybe half a baked potato and then received a phone call and said ‘I need to take this call. The waiter came back and said, ‘He’s not out there. Is this a first date? And I said: ‘Yes, this is a first blind date, and he said, ‘He’s gone.’
While his antics only came to light this year, authorities claim Gonzales has been pulling these shenanigans all the way back to 2016.
In a statement from the L.A. County D.A.’s office:
From May 2016 through April 2018, Gonzales is accused of taking financial advantage of women he met mostly through dating apps and websites.
Eight women purportedly ended up paying the bill themselves.
At one point he racked up a tab of ‘more than $950’ (£738). Damn, what in the hell was he ordering that it warranted that kind of bill? It wasn’t just restaurant bills he was skipping out on, according to VICE he’s been accused of skipping out on paying for time at a hair salon too.
Gonzales is now staring at 10 felony charges, including seven counts of extortion and one for grand theft. He pleaded not guilty on Monday (August 27) and his hearing will be set for next week.
If found guilty, he could serve up to as many as 13 years in California state prison.
At least the single women of L.A. can go back to dating without fear… unless he’s inspired any dine-and-dash copycat criminals out there.
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