An 18-year-old man has spoken of a near-death experience he had when he was viciously attacked by a man he met on a dating app.
In June last year, Holden White, from Louisiana, was tortured by Chance Seneca, who stabbed Mr White in the neck and wrists and left him in critical condition.
The two met on Grindr - a dating app for gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people.
Mr White has since spoken out about the horrific ordeal, hoping by doing so, it doesn’t happen to anyone else.
He told KLFY “nothing seemed weird” during his month-long correspondence with Seneca, before the two met up, adding he saw “no red flags”.
On their first date, the two played video games in Seneca’s bedroom. Seneca then got up, left the room and came back in with a cord, which he wrapped around Mr White’s throat from behind.
Nearly every blood vessel in Mr White’s face erupted, KLFY reported, impacting his memory.
“When I wake up, I am in his bathtub naked. The water is running, and it's cold. He is in the process of doing my left wrist,” Mr White told the Acadiana Advocate.
“It was to the point that he was basically trying to cut off my hands.”
Mr White said when Seneca stabbed his neck it was “the torturing stage”.
When Mr White woke up from a three-day coma, Lafayette Police Department questioned him. He later found out Seneca had called the police on himself and said he had killed a man.
A medical test was never given to medical personnel by the police, Mr White told the Advocate, so he does not know if he was sexually assaulted.
Mr White stayed in the hospital for over a month. It took him seven months to regain function in his right hand, his left is still numb.
This year he started back at work. After waking up from his coma, he returned to work but was forced to quit due to his hands.
“You can’t let other people control your story because it’s your story,” Mr White said.
‘He chose me’: Mr White believes the attack was a hate crime
Mr White is hoping he will get more answers, but believes he won’t get any until the case is heard in a courtroom.
He says his goal is to keep Seneca in prison and let others know it is okay to be sad after a traumatic experience, but it’s important to move on.
Last year, the Associated Press reported Mr White’s family believed the attack was a hate crime, targeting Mr White because he was gay.
Mr White also believes it was a hate crime, as Seneca went on Grindr and chose someone who was proud of their sexuality.
“He chose to choose someone who is gay and very proud of his sexuality. He said this in prison,” Mr White said.
“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.”
Last year, police did not classify the attack as a hate crime
Despite the horrific ordeal, Mr White says he is not a victim, but a survivor.
“The only time I was a victim was when I was in that three-day coma," Mr White told the Advocate.
"I've come out of this a stronger person. I survived it. I'm a survivor."
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.