Paul Guadalupe Gonzales, 45, dubbed the “Dine-and-Dash Dater” after skipping out on restaurant checks on first dates, surrendered in court Monday to serve the balance of his 120-day jail sentence. A number of the offenses occurred at restaurants in Pasadena, including Houston’s.
According to the LA County District Attorney’s office, Gonzales, who was arrested in Old Pasadena last August 25, pleaded no contest in November to three misdemeanor counts of defrauding an innkeeper by nonpayment and one misdemeanor count of petty theft.
Gonzales was sentenced to 120 days in county jail and three years of summary probation and was ordered to pay restitution under the negotiated plea agreement.
From May 2016 through April 2018, Gonzales was accused of dining with women he met through dating apps, and then leaving without paying any of the checks at restaurants throughout the Pasadena area, prosecutors said.
In addition to the jail time, Superior Court Judge Stan Blumenfeld placed Gonzales on probation for three years.
Gonzales also received a haircut and color treatment from a Pasadena salon in April and left without paying, according to court documents.
Gonzales was ordered to pay $240 in restitution to two of his victims and to stay at least 100 yards away from five restaurants. He was also barred from the dating sites PlentyofFish and Bumble and was informed that he is subject to search and seizure conditions involving electronic devices and accounts.
Gonzales also admitted violating his probation in a 2017 petty theft case involving Macy’s at his hearing, and was ordered to perform 45 days of community labor in that case, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Gonzales had been out of jail on $100,000 bond following Superior Court Judge Darrell Mavis’ decision to dismiss eight felony counts of extortion, and two felony counts of attempted extortion.
The prosecution lost its subsequent bid to have the 10 felony counts reinstated, but added two misdemeanor counts to which Gonzales pleaded guilty.
Judge Mavis said at Gonzales’ September 19 hearing Mavis said he did not dispute that the women Gonzales abandoned at restaurants were victims, but asked, “But victims of what crime? … That’s really the issue.”
Deputy Public Defender Salvador Salgado also argued during the preliminary hearing that the extortion-related charges were “rather exaggerated.” He claimed that the real victim of a person walking out on a check is the restaurant, not the women who were abandoned at the table.
But Deputy District Attorney Michael Fern said that Gonzales “wanted a free meal” and left the checks to the women, whom he said “didn’t want to be accused of being an accomplice to the defendant’s crime.”
Gonzales reportedly met the women through online dating sites and took them to restaurants in Pasadena and Glendale, as well as Beverly Hills and Long Beach, according to court testimony.
In two instances, the restaurants allegedly picked up the check after Gonzales had left his dates alone, prosecutors said. In an unrelated incident, the defendant received services from a hair salon and left without paying.
The case was investigated by the Pasadena Police Department.