LAFAYETTE, La. — A Lafayette man shares his story of survival and how he is finding hope after a brutal attack left him hospitalized earlier this year.
Holden White was stabbed in June and says he was targeted because he is gay.
"I'm staying strong," said White. "I'm not going to let this incident get to me."
The FBI is investigating and, for White, there is no question this was a hate crime.
"It wasn't just one swipe," said White. "It was literally him sawing into my wrist and I was like screaming and crying in pain."
The scars will always be a painful reminder for White of when he was attacked.
He met the suspect, Chance Seneca, on the dating app Grindr.
"Part (of what) I remember is that I reached over to grab something out of my bag," said White. "That's when I felt a cord wrap around my throat and he started pulling me backwards.
"He strangled me for, I can't tell you how long, but it felt like a very long time," said White. "And he did it to the point as to where every single blood vessel in my face ruptured."
White says he blacked out twice and woke up in a bathtub.
"There was just blood all over my chest and stuff," said White. "He was just kind of sitting there watching me, and I was like,, 'Okay this is it.' My final words to myself was, 'just stay calm.' In my mind I kept repeating to myself, 'just stay calm, stay calm.' Slowly, I passed out."
White says he woke up in a hospital with severe injuries.
"I've been told that Chance called the police and he said, 'Hey, I just tried to murder somebody, send an ambulance,' and when they found me I was still naked in the bathtub."
Seneca remains in custody at the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center.
White says looking at Seneca's Facebook profile leaves no doubt in his mind that he was targeted.
"This is a hate crime due to a fact that he made it a point to choose a gay man on a gay app," he said. "He made sure I was a gay man and then in the same breath, he also idolized Jeffery Dahmer. What Jeffery Dahmer did was he choose gay men and lured them back to his house and he would kill them."
And while his scars will always be a reminder of the attack, White says he is hoping a new nearby tattoo will be a reminder of how far he's come.
"Semi colon movement," White explains. "Basically, what a semicolon does is it puts a pause on a sentence. Chance tried to stop my life, so instead of a period I made it a semi colon."
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