A student from California University was left in a holding cell for five days without food or water.
Eight people, including Daniel Chong, were arrested during a drug raid at a San Diego home on April 21, 2012. Chong was apparently forgotten in the holding cell and he reported that he was forced to drink his own urine and nearly died from dehydration. According to Chong’s attorneys, he was suffering from severe dehydration, muscle deterioration, hallucinations, liver and kidney failure and extremely high levels of sodium and he lost 15 pounds during the ordeal. A statement from the DEA said that,”Seven suspects were brought back to county detention.” One was released, but “accidentally left in one of the cells”.
I cannot believe what happened to that student who was left in a holding cell for five days. So awful. So glad he survived.
— mary kate wiles (@mkwiles) May 3, 2012
24-year-old, Chong spent five days in a San Diego hospital, three of them were in the intensive care unit. He filed a $20 million claim, a precursor to a lawsuit, against the DEA. San Diego defense attorney Gretchen Von Helms said, “In all my years of practice I’ve never heard of the DEA or any federal government employee simply forgetting about someone that they have in their care. There has to be repercussions if people do not follow the safety and the care when they have a human being in their custody.”
Chong’s attorneys, Eugene Iredale and Julia Yoo, announced Tuesday that they had settled that claim with the DEA for $4.1 million.
To its credit, the government has responded by acknowledging responsibility, apologizing personally to Daniel and instituting changes in policies regarding safety checks for prisoners in temporary holding cells at DEA facilities. What happened to Daniel Chong should never happen to any human being on the face of the planet.