Se­rial ‘dine-and-dash’ dater fac­ing 10 felony charges

The Peterborough Examiner - - Canada & World - MEA­GAN FLYNN

Mar­jorie Moon’s date with Paul Guadalupe Gon­za­les at a swanky restau­rant in Los Angeles in 2016 was go­ing fine. That is, un­til the mo­ment he dis­ap­peared from it.

Gon­za­les was charm­ing at first, if not a lit­tle fawn­ing, Moon said. She met him on­line through the dat­ing site Plenty of Fish and hit it off, swap­ping pic­tures of their kids and shar­ing their ap­pre­ci­a­tion for good food. On their first date, she re­al­ized he wasn’t kid­ding: Gon­za­les or­dered two en­trees — a chicken dish and four lob­ster tails, she said. He or­dered ex­pen­sive wine and then a souf­flé for dessert.

And then, he told her he had to go make a phone call. Moon thought he was on the call for a long time, and asked her waiter if he had he seen her date.

Yes, the waiter said. Her date left. “I couldn’t be­lieve it,” Moon told The Wash­ing­ton Post. “I just handed (the waiter) my credit card and said, ‘I just want to go home’ — US$250 later, I was out the door.”

Moon is one at least eight known women who al­legedly ended up foot­ing the bill af­ter po­lice say Gon­za­les, 45, in­vited them out to din­ner via on­line dat­ing then ditched them be­fore the meal was over, the Los Angeles Dis­trict At­tor­ney’s Of­fice said Mon­day. Gon­za­les, known as the “se­rial dine-and-dasher” in lo­cal me­dia, was ar­rested this week on 10 felony charges in con­nec­tion with his al­leged aw­ful dat­ing eti­quette be­tween May 2016 and April 2018. In ad­di­tion to the eight women, two restau­rants are also listed as vic­tims be­cause they picked up the tab.

Gon­za­les has pleaded not guilty to seven counts of ex­tor­tion, two counts of at­tempted ex­tor­tion and one count of grand theft, ac­cused of cheat­ing his dates out of more than $950. He faces a max­i­mum penalty of 13 years in prison, the dis­trict at­tor­ney’s of­fice said.

It was al­ways the same pat­tern for Gon­za­les, ac­cord­ing to po­lice: a lav­ish, ex­pen­sive meal, fol­lowed by an ex­cuse to leave the table and, ul­ti­mately, dis­ap­pear. Some­times, his aunt was re­ally sick, CBS Los Angeles re­ported. Some­times, he left his phone charger in his car and re­ally needed to go get it. Some­times, he had to go to the bath­room.

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