DEA to Pay $4.1 Million to California Student Forgotten in Holding Cell

In what can only be described as a horrifying incident, a 25 year old engineering student at the University of California in San Diego was forgotten in a cell for 5 days last year after being caught up in a raid which occurred on April 21st.

Daniel Chong, 25, was forgotten in a DEA cell for 5 days, despite never being officially arrested or charged.

Daniel Chong, 25, was forgotten in a DEA cell for 5 days, despite never being officially arrested or charged.

The man – Daniel Chong – was arrested simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time (the house he was visiting was believed to have been distributing ecstasy and other drugs); he was never officially charged, or even arrested, according to the DEA.

After being swept up in the raid, Chong – who was at the house because he went to a 4/20 party there the night before – was questioned at the DEA facility in San Diego, before being told that he was going to be released, Despite this, Chong was placed, and left, in¬†a 5-by-10-foot windowless room. During this time he received no food, no water, and didn’t once have access to a bathroom.

During this terrible occurrence, Chong ended up resorting to consuming his own urine to survive; he carved the statement “Sorry, mom”, on his arm with a piece of glass when he felt he was going to do die.

5 days after initially being placed in the cell, Chong was found by DEA agents; he was found nearly dead, close to kidney failure, barely breathing and severely dehydrated. He subsequently spent 5 days in the hospital before being released. Although Chong has since recovered physically, he now suffers from severe post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

After this happened, Chong and his attorney Eugene Iredale filed a lawsuit against the DEA. This lawsuit has now officially ended in an out-of-court settlement; the DEA will pay Daniel Chong $4.1 million. Although this will surely help, this money does absolutely nothing to remove the pain and suffering this man went through because of pure incompetence.

This incident – and those like it – are further reasons for us to put an end to the DEA, and this ridiculous war on drugs, which allows the government to seize individuals, ruining their lives in the process, over a personal choice.

TheJointBlog

11 comments

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  1. The War on Drugs has proven as ineffectual as our revolving-door prison system. Money spent on treatment has proven results, conservative estimates show that every dollar spent on treatment saves three dollars needing to be spent for legal and hospital expenses. Do we want to wait until it’s too late, to send people to prison and to teach them to be the worst people that they can be? People with hope and self-esteem and empathy and common sense typically don’t want to ruin their lives with drugs; let’s help to foster these.

  2. Military training instructs the soldier to drink his own urine in times of extreme survival. So Daniel Chong did the right thing. No one knows the true limits of human survival without any food or water. A woman in May, 2013, survived beneath the rubble of the garment factory she had been working in, in Bangladesh. She survived with bits of food only and very little water for 17 days. See story: http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/may/10/woman-rescued-17-days-after-being-buried-alive-fac/

  3. Comment #2: I just researched a little further. The woman was buried for 17 days beneath a garment factory that had collapsed killing more than a 1000 souls. She did have access to small bits of food and water- so this was not a case of true total deprivation. The story is here: http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/may/10/woman-rescued-17-days-after-being-buried-alive-fac/

  4. I was never in the military but I learned that military training tells you to drink your own urine in a survival situation. So Daniel Chong did the right thing. Also, to the comment that you can’t survive more than 3 days without water- a recent collapse of a building in China or India found a woman still alive after 7 days buried in rubble. We don’t always have the answers we think are correct; and each of us is potentially capable of doing something nobody else can do in any given moment of time.

    • That guy on July 31, 2013 at 12:14 am
    • Reply

    5 days is a little ridiculous to start consuming urine and cutting yourself. people survive weeks without food or water… either this is a big attention scam, or he deserved to be in there for things harder than ecstacy.

      • johnny on July 31, 2013 at 12:18 am
      • Reply

      normally thats true but when they found him he was almost dead with almost kidney failure and dehydration so he might of died soon. he looks like a skinny guy, could make the difference.

    1. Remember the rule of 3s That Guy, 3 min without air, 3 days without water 3 weeks without food… some people are always trying to ice-skate up hill, think before you open your mouth.,.,

      • mle on July 31, 2013 at 12:26 am
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      You cannot survive more than 3 days without water…

      • Chase on July 31, 2013 at 1:11 am
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      Yeah you can’t go weeks without water… Food yes, water you start getting messed up after two days, with dying on your third.

    • Heidi on July 30, 2013 at 10:31 pm
    • Reply

    It’s astounding how negligent our legal system is. But I do have two questions…where did he find the glass to carve into his arm, and why didn’t he drink his blood to sustain him, versus the urine, which would undoubtedly hold more harmful toxins? Sucks that he only won $4.1 million…I guess that’s the price of his sanity…

    1. Hi Heidi,

      Daniel Chong used glass from his glasses.

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