Holden White, the survivor of a grizzly attack by Chance Seneca, a man he met on Grindr, has gone public with accusations against the Police Department in Lafayette, Louisiana. White now charges that police mishandled the case both in terms of procedure and in choosing not to charge Seneca with a hate crime.
The background: White, then 18, met Seneca, 19, on Grindr in June of last year. The two chatted on Grindr for about a month before their initial meeting. Seneca invited White to his father’s house to play video games. When the pair arrived, Seneca strangled White with a power chord to the point he lost consciousness. He woke up later in a cold bathtub, with Seneca trying to saw off his hands using a knife. He also tried to cut White’s carotid artery on his neck and stabbed him several times in the throat. White likely only survived because Seneca called 911 to confess to a murder. Paramedics arrived and took White to the hospital where he received life-saving treatment. Police arrested Seneca and charged him with attempted murder. He remains jailed on a $250,000 bond.
Now, in a new interview with The Acadiana Advocate, White has spoken out about his encounter with Seneca and called out Lafayette Police for the mishandling of his case. White charges that law enforcement showed disregard for him by not performing a rape kit when White was taken to the hospital. He still does not know if he suffered a sexual assault while unconscious.
White also points to the police department’s refusal to charge Seneca with a hate crime. Subsequent to Seneca’s arrest, an investigation revealed that he kept pictures of gay serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer on his Facebook page, and appeared to idolize the man. Dahmer notoriously targeted other gay men whom he would have sex with, drug, murder, and then cannibalize. White points out that, like Dahmer, Seneca targeted him because of his sexuality, which would constitute a hate crime.
“He could have done this to a woman,” White told The Acadina Advocate. “Instead, he chose to do something to someone who’s gay and proud about his sexuality.”
White also adds that neither the police nor the district attorney informed him about Seneca’s court arraignment.
“I knew nothing about it,” he says. “I asked why I wasn’t informed of this and was told there wasn’t a need to tell me.”
“This concerns him, and he concerns me,” he then adds.
Sgt. Wayne Griffin, spokesperson for the Lafayette Police Department, told media outlets last June that law enforcement would not pursue hate crime charges against Seneca.
“There were several indicators that point us to the direction that it was not a hate crime,” Griffin said at the time. “I know the mom has been posting on social media, and we’ve had all kinds of people calling the PD asking us to classify it as a hate crime. It’s just because of the sensitivity of the case, we cannot go into any more about it, but it’s not going to be classified as a hate crime.”
The FBI has since taken over control of the case. A spokesperson for the agency, Alicia Irmscher, cannot confirm nor deny that the bureau has launched an investigation into the crime, or whether it intends to charge Seneca with a hate crime. Irmscher did not, however, rule out the possibility of future charges.