Metro Weekly

Louisiana man stabbed and mutilated by Grindr date wants attacker charged with hate crime

Holden White says he believes he was targeted by his assailant because of his sexual orientation


A Louisiana man who was stabbed, mutilated and tortured by a Grindr date wants his assailant charged with a hate crime for the brutal attack.

Holden White, 19, of Lafayette, La., ended up in a coma for three days last June after arranging a date with Chance Seneca, a man he met on Grindr. The two had exchanged messages on the popular gay dating app for about a month before agreeing to meet on June 20.

White said that there were no red flags during his conversations with Seneca, although at the time, he didn’t know that Seneca had a Facebook profile under his name with a picture of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who killed and dismembered 16 men from 1978 to 1991.

White invited Seneca over to his apartment, but Seneca declined the invitation and tried to convince White to come over to his father’s house a few days later to play video games. Seneca insisted on picking White up from his apartment, and said he had checked to ensure his father’s house was empty before picking White up around 7 p.m.

White says he remembered arriving at a “very, very nice house” and engaging in awkward conversation as they prepared to play video games, before feeling a cord wrap around his throat and blacking out.

He later woke up in the bathtub, with Seneca slicing into his wrists in an attempt to cut off his hands. He also remembers being stabbed in the neck with the tip of the knife, fading in and out of consciousness while in the bathtub. At one point, he looked down to see the tub filled with blood-stained water and seeing Seneca staring down at him. The next thing he remembers is waking up in the hospital.

According to The Acadiana Advocate, Seneca called 911 and told the operator he had just murdered a man and would wait for police outside of his father’s house. He was then arrested and charged with attempted second-degree murder. Seneca has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge and remains in Lafayette Parish Correctional Center, with a $250,000 bond. He is next scheduled to appear in court on March 3.

White’s injuries were numerous, including six stab wounds to his neck, blunt force trauma to the back of his head, deep cuts to his wrists, and popped blood vessels in his face from being strangled by Seneca. He spent nearly a month in  Oschner Lafayette General Hospital, first in the intensive care unit, and then in regular and rehabilitation rooms, undergoing physical and occupational therapy to treat the after-effects of his injuries. He was discharged just prior to his 19th birthday.

White has regained about 85% of his grip strength in his right hand, but only 19% in his left hand. He continues to have to undergo intense physical therapy, and has struggled to find a job due to his physical limitations.

See also: Texas teen charged with murder after luring victims through Grindr

Unfortunately, White says, neither law enforcement officials nor the district attorney’s office informed him of the case, or consulted with him about what charges they’d be pursuing.

“I knew nothing about it. I asked why I wasn’t informed of this and was told there wasn’t a need to tell me,” White told the Advocate. “This concerns him, and he concerns me.”

While White doesn’t want Seneca to receive the death penalty, he does want prosecutors to pursue hate crime charges, believing the attack to have been motivated by his sexual orientation.

When Seneca was first arrested, Lafayette Police said the case was not being classified as a hate crime because evidence pointed to other motives. A police spokesperson declined to comment on the specifics of the case.

“He could have done this to a woman,” White said. “Instead, he chose to do something to someone who’s gay and proud about his sexuality.”

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