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LA’s Infamous Dine-and-Dash Dater Caught, Hit With 10 Felony Extortion Counts

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The serially bad dater is in trouble now

Mercado Pasadena
Mercado in Pasadena
Wonho Frank Lee
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Looks like the law has finally caught up with Los Angeles’s infamous dine-and-dash dater. In a new statement out today via the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, the man — identified as Paul Guadalupe Gonzales — is being charged with ten felony counts including extortion and grand theft.

The issue stems from an alleged years-long con by Gonzales to take women on dates, rack up a lavish bill, and then jet before the night could be paid for. The statement describes the despicable behavior like this:

From May 2016 through April 2018, Gonzales is accused of taking financial advantage of women he met mostly through dating apps and websites. He allegedly went to dinner with them at restaurants in Pasadena, Long Beach, Burbank and Los Angeles, where he ordered and consumed food and drinks, then allegedly left without paying any of the bill.

News of the dine-and-dasher quickly spread, but Gonzales managed to stay out of jail until Saturday, when he was nabbed and tagged with a bail set at some $315,000. Now he’s on the hook for ten felony charges, because authorities say he defrauded the women and some of the restaurants (who kindly offered to pick up the tab in his stead) for more than $950, the legal financial threshold for making something a felony. Just ask Adam Perry Lang and his so-called Felony Knives, which are listed on the menu at his APL restaurant at $950.01, just in case one ever gets stolen.

Smitty’s in Pasadena, Tam O’Shanter, Mercado, and BJ’s Bar and Grill in Long Beach are among the restaurants that were hit by the dine-and-dasher. So far, Gonzales has pleaded not guilty to the charges, but if convicted he could face some 13 years in state prison, as well as fines for his actions.