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A Louisiana man is now facing a hate crime charge in addition to attempted murder after he was arrested for a brutal attack on a gay teenager over the summer after the two met on Grindr.
Chance Seneca was slapped with the new charge by the Lafayette Parish District Attorney's Office on Jan. 20 for his alleged attack on Holden White in June, the Associated Press reported.
White, a 19-year-old student from the Lafayette area, told local media that he met Seneca, who was 19 at the time, on the dating app for gay, bi, trans, and queer people and chatted with him for weeks before they decided to meet for a first date. White said that he was picked up by Seneca on June 20 and brought to what Seneca said was his father’s house, where they were going to play video games. White said the two had some awkward conversation before he was abruptly attacked.
“He left the room to get something... And when he came back, he had come up behind me and that’s when he wrapped a cord around my throat,” White told local station KLFY. “The next thing I remember I was in the bathtub, and he was slicing open my left wrist.”
As he was being choked, every blood vessel in his face ruptured, White said. He lost consciousness while laying in the blood-filled water, and the next thing he knew he was waking up in the hospital, as he recalled to the Advocate. The teenager was in a coma for three days, and had deep cuts to both wrists as well as multiple stab wounds and lacerations to his neck, according to a GoFundMe set up by his sister.
That night, Seneca allegedly called 911 and said he killed a man, according to KLFY. Police said that he was still at the home when authorities arrived around 11:45 p.m. and arrested him. Lafayette Police Sgt. Wayne Griffin said right after the attack that initial evidence did not indicate a hate crime and that they believed the two young men had gotten into an argument.
Days after the attack, Griffin confirmed that the FBI was assisting in the investigation and that they were seeking the opinion of the district attorney’s office in the case.
After his arrest, Seneca pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted second-degree murder. He remains jailed on a $250,000 bond, according to online jail records. His next pretrial hearing is March 3.
Seneca's attorney, J. Clay LeJeune, told Oxygen.com on Tuesday that he was surprised to see the amended charge and that his client intends to plead not guilty. The additional charge carries a potential five-year penalty to Seneca's sentence, local assistant district attorney Donald Knecht told KATC.
White told KLFY that he has recently regained full function of his right hand and that his left hand is still partially numb. The GoFundMe set up for him after the attack reached its goal of $100,000, and he told the Advocate that he is continuing physical therapy and attending college classes.
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