VAN NUYS (CBSLA.com) — A woman from Van Nuys says she was conned after meeting a man on a dating site.
As Diane Guilmette explains, she received a flattering message from the man she says she met on the dating site, Plenty of Fish.
“And I got a message from this guy. It was really a very flattering message,” said Guilmette, explaining that the man initiated the conversation.
She says, after a few messages, the two decided to meet at Morton’s Steakhouse in downtown LA.
“A little pricey for me but I agreed,” she said.
Guilmette said the man wasn’t shy when it came to ordering.
“He ordered a lot of food. He had an appetizer. He ordered a steak. This restaurant is all al la carte. He even ordered a couple sides, a glass of wine. So he was looked like he was really enjoying himself,” Guilmette
said. “When we got near to the end of the meal, not quite finished, he said he had to go make a phone call.”
About 15 minutes later, Guilmette realized he wasn’t coming back.
“When I went to message him on the app, he had blocked me. And I thought, ‘Oh my gosh! Is this really happening right now?’ ” she said.
That’s when she took to social media and told her friends what had happened, posting pictures of the man police have identified as Paul Gonzales of Alta Loma.
Police say the man is also accused of failing to pay for a cut and color at a Burbank salon back in February, a story the news station reported on back then.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office says Gonzales is facing two pending cases of petty theft.
Guilmette says once she told her story online, other women came forward and shared their own stories.
“I heard from a lot of people say he did the same thing. It’s typically very high-end restaurants,” she said.
She says this experience hasn’t scared her away from dating but she wants to warn others to be on guard.