A man who pleaded no contest to walking out on checks at restaurants in Pasadena, California, surrendered to police in January, 2019, to serve his 120-day jail sentence. The man, aged 45, allegedly used numerous first dates as an opportunity to not pay for meals at multiple restaurants. In addition to a jail sentence, the man was ordered to pay $240 in restitution to victims and to stay 100 yards away from five restaurants.
The defendant in this case was originally arrested in August, 2018, and then released on a $100,000 bond. Prosecutors initially charged the man with eight felony counts of extortion, but a Superior Court judge dismissed them. The public defender argued that extortion charges were exaggerated considering the nature of the crime. Ultimately, the defendant plead no contest to multiple misdemeanor charges.
During the preliminary hearing for the case, several women who went on first dates with the defendant testified that they felt they had no choice to pay the restaurant bill when he suddenly left. These alleged victims said that the defendant ordered to most expensive items on the menu and would even buy two meals. The man met these women through online dating sites.
When accused of any kind of felony or misdemeanor, it’s important for the defendant to consult with an attorney before speaking with investigators or prosecutors. Many defendants feel like their situation is hopeless, but defense attorneys can often construct strategies that can successfully challenge the allegations and in some case have the charges reduced or withdrawn.
Source: CBS News, ““Dine-and-Dash Dater” surrenders to serve 120-day jail sentence in Southern California“, Jan. 15, 2019