Paul Guadalupe Gonzales, 45, is accused of 11 counts of extortion and two counts of tried extortion for allegedly luring girls to good eating places, ordering meals and vanishing — sticking his victims with the invoice.
The general public defender’s workplace has not returned requires remark.
“It was humiliating,” stated an alleged sufferer, who requested CNN in an unique cellphone interview to determine her solely with the pseudonym Jane. “I used to be annoyed. It simply left me in a foul place.”
Jane stated she wrote a test for $218 to Houston’s restaurant in Pasadena after Gonzales walked out on the invoice.
She recalled how they met on the courting website Bumble.
“We simply chatted backwards and forwards. He was charming,” Jane continued. “He stated, ‘Why not meet someplace?'”
Jane stated Gonzales ordered drinks and the costliest merchandise on Houston’s menu. The Houston’s web site lists its high merchandise as a steak for $48.
Jane stated Gonzales advised her when he first sat down for dinner he must make a cellphone name later to test on his aunt, who was hospitalized.
After the meal, Gonzales made his name and disappeared, she recalled.
“He left after most of his meals was gone,” she stated. “I’ve by no means seen anyone eat so quick.”
It did not happen to her that somebody would stroll out on her.
“That simply by no means got here to thoughts,” Jane stated. “What’s he benefiting from it, actually? Is that each one you need, is a free meal?”
‘A whole lot of scammers on the market’
Gonzales is accused of repeating his alleged dine-and-dash crimes all through the Los Angeles space, from Pasadena to Burbank to Lengthy Seashore.
Carol Meredith bought left with the invoice at Mercado in Pasadena, however managers picked up her tab.
Meredith additionally met Gonzales on Bumble.
“I’ve had buddies who’ve been very profitable with on-line courting, I’ve had some not so good experiences,” Meredith advised CNN.
“I simply sort of really feel like possibly on-line courting won’t be for me. I imply there are numerous scammers on the market.”
Psychologist Lisa Strohman, who focuses on treating sufferers affected by social media and technology-related issues, says the web permits courting predators to forged a large internet.
The explosion of courting websites “places it on overdrive,” Strohman explains. “Predators can use know-how now to govern, groom, lure and get individuals the place they need them with none threat to themselves.”
The alleged victims we spoke with within the Gonzales case stated the web Romeo stated the suitable issues, together with speaking concerning the significance of household.
“I am strolling to have dinner with my mother,” a textual content allegedly from Gonzales learn on Meredith’s cellphone.
“I really feel like several man who loves his mom might be going to like me in the suitable manner,” Meredith stated.
Dye and sprint
Prosecutors stated the spree occurred from Might 2016 via April.
“Briefly, the defendant’s wrongful conduct induced harmless third events to pay for his meal, utilizing the implied menace of public humiliation or being seen as an confederate,” a legal grievance says.
However Gonzales is not solely accused of crimes of the center linked to all of the purported serial dine and dashing. He is also a suspected “dye and dasher.”
Burbank authorities and two hair salons advised CNN that Gonzales bought his hair coloured and skipped out on the payments — in a single occasion nonetheless sporting a towel round his neck.
LA County authorities are additionally charging Gonzales, who’s presently jailed, with petty theft for an additional alleged dye and sprint incident.
The suspect is scheduled to be in court docket Tuesday for a preliminary listening to, the district legal professional stated. His bail was set at $315,000.
Meredith expects to testify about her ordeal with courtship that began with a swipe proper and took a left flip throughout the date.
“You simply must watch out on the market,” Meredith stated. “You’ll be able to’t decide a e book by its cowl.”
If convicted, Gonzales faces a attainable most penalty of 16 years and 10 months in county jail, in line with authorities.