Gay college student says he still makes use of the Grindr after surviving horrific torture at the hands of a man he met on the app
After chatting with a man on the gay dating app Grindr on and off for a year, Holden White, 18, decided to meet up with him in June 2020.
At first, he said, he didn’t notice any red flags. But the encounter quickly turned into hours of torture, he said.
White, a college student, said he agreed to be handcuffed by Chance Seneca, 19, because he was interested in trying something new. But then Seneca pulled out a loaded pistol, White said.
“He then began to strangle me, and that lasted for 30 to 40 minutes, to the point that every blood vessel in my face ruptured,” White said.
He said he lost consciousness and woke up naked in a bath with six stab wounds to his throat. In an affidavit, an FBI agent said White’s wrists were “slit to the bone.”
White fell into a coma and spent days intubated in a hospital.
He’s now suing Seneca at the state and federal levels. In March, Seneca was charged with hate-crime, firearm, and kidnapping offenses, the Department of Justice said. He’s also facing a charge of attempted murder and a hate-crime charge at the state level.
But while White seeks justice, he still frequently uses Grindr and other dating apps, he said.
“I use all the apps because I don’t blame them 100% for what happened to me,” he said during a video call.
Nowadays, White takes more precautions, he said.
“Since the incident, I don’t go to their home anymore,” he said. “I either meet them in public, or they come to my house, because I live in apartments and I have roommates, so it’s safer that way.”
He added that he hoped his experience would encourage others to use the apps vigilantly.
Several experts told Insider that while there are ways that people can use LGBTQ dating apps safely, apps like Grindr could be doing more to help mitigate risk for users.