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DEA Forgets About Student In Holding Cell For Four Days, Student Says He Drank Own Urine To Survive

By Ian Millhiser  

"DEA Forgets About Student In Holding Cell For Four Days, Student Says He Drank Own Urine To Survive"

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Daniel Chong, an engineering student at the University of California, San Diego, was detained by Drug Enforcement Administration agents after he was found asleep at a friend’s house that was the target of a drug raid. Although the DEA never arrested Chong and had no plans to charge him with a crime, he was placed in a holding cell — and then left there for four days without access to food, water or a toilet:

The engineering student at the University of California, San Diego, told U-T San Diego that he drank his own urine to survive and that he bit into his glasses to break them and tried to use a shard to scratch “Sorry Mom” into his arm.

His lawyer Eugene Iredale said Chong went to his friend’s house on April 20 to get high and fell asleep. Agents stormed in at 9 a.m. the next day and swept him up as one of nine suspects in a raid that netted 18,000 ecstasy pills, other drugs and weapons.

He was questioned for four hours and then told that he would be released, Iredale told The Associated Press. Chong was handcuffed and placed back in a holding cell.

He remained in the 5-by-10-foot cell from April 21 until April 25, when he was taken out on a gurney by paramedics.

“He couldn’t fully stretch out his arms,” Iredale said. “There was no restroom facilities, no water, no food.”

The only view out was through a tiny peephole in the solid door. He could hear the muffled voices of agents and the sound of the door of the next cell being opened and closed. He kicked and screamed as loud as he could.

The DEA issued an apology yesterday for this incident. Chong is suing the DEA.

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