LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — A Lafayette teen is putting a horrific crime behind him while recovering from the near-death experience. On June 20, 2020, Holden White was tortured until his attacker thought he was dead. Now White, an openly gay young man, is pressing for hate crime charges.
It’s been seven months since a meetup on the dating app Grindr turned into something that would leave Holden White scarred for the rest of his life. He wants to share what happened so that it doesn’t happen to anyone else. A warning, some of the details may be hard to read.
“Everything seemed fine. Nothing seemed weird, and we decided after a month of talking we should, like, meet,” White recalled. He said there were no red flags as he, at age 18, and Chance Seneca, at age 19, agreed to their first date, but once White was picked up and playing video games in Seneca’s bedroom everything changed.
White recalled, “He left the room to get something, and then he came back. And when he came back, he had came up behind me and that’s when he wrapped a cord around my throat.”
White struggled until nearly every blood vessel in his face ruptured. His vision blurred and then his memory.
“The next thing I remember I was in the bathtub, and he was slicing open my left wrist,” White said.
Naked and surrounded by his own blood, he faded in and out of consciousness with his attacker watching him. In his mind, he thought it was the end.
“I was saying my final words to myself which were just, ‘Stay calm,” White said.
Holden White fell into a coma for three days. It ended when he saw a light. He went toward it and woke up in the hospital with a breathing tube in his throat and bandages covering much of his body.
Two days after he awoke, White remembered the Lafayette Police Department questioning him as to what happened. He later learned Chance Seneca called police and said he killed a man.
No rape kit was given as Holden struggled for his life with six stab wounds to the neck, a blow to the back of his head, and cuts so deep to his wrists that his hands were nearly sawed off. White felt he deserved more answers from police as to what happened, but says he won’t receive any additional details until he hears them in court.
White was in the hospital for nearly a full month, but he was determined to recover.
“You can’t let other people control your story because it’s your story,” White told News 10.
Three weeks after leaving the hospital, White returned to work, but because of his hands, he had to leave.
Seven months after the incident, Holden has just regained the full function of his right hand. His left hand is still partially numb. Last week, he started his first new job since the attack.
Holden White has made it his mission to move on from a brutal attempt on his life and to make sure the man responsible can’t attack another gay man.
“My one goal that I would say would be to yes keep him in prison, and then number two, to let everyone know if you have a traumatic experience happen to you, it’s okay to be sad about it but you need to not stay sad the whole time. You have to move on.”
White is moving on by continuing to date on Grindr, only in public places now. To keep Chance Seneca in prison, he has to be charged with a hate crime. White says the FBI is investigating. Seneca appears in court for a pre-trial on March third.
What makes Holden so confident it’s a hate crime?
White said, “He chose to go on the app Grindr. He went on an app designated for gay people. He chose to choose someone who is gay and very proud of his sexuality. He said this in prison. He said he chose me because I have a smaller stature and it would be easier to kill me. He knew what he was doing. This was preplanned, and when you look at his Facebook, his profile picture is Jeffrey Dahmer, and if you know the previous history about Jeffrey Dahmer, then you can clearly understand all the reasoning on why he wanted to do what he did. So this is a hate crime to me. It will always be a hate crime to me.”