We know that online dating appears to be some sort of social hellscape, but this is a new one. The Washington Post reports that 45-year-old Los Angeles man Paul Gonzales has been arrested for a horrific series of dine-and-ditch dates.
Gonzales would meet women on the internet, meet them for dinner, order expensive items off the menu, and then make an excuse to leave mid-meal. Dinner bills reported ranged from $130 all the way up to $250. On one of the dates, says the Post, “Gonzales ordered two entrees—a chicken dish and four lobster tails… expensive wine and then a soufflé for dessert.”
Says The Daily Dot, Gonzales “pleaded not guilty to seven counts of extortion, two counts of attempted extortion, and one count of grand theft, his dating debauchery totaling $950. If convicted, he could face up to 13 years in prison.” His accusers include not only his dates but a few restaurants that covered his pricey dinner bill for his abandoned dinner companions. Fortunately, it looks like his long con game is at its end.
Makes us think back to our online dating dinner guide, in which this advice still stands: Start with drinks first! That way, if the jerk never comes back from the bathroom, at least you’re only out 20 bucks or so.