College Student Files Lawsuit Against DEA after being Left in Jail Cell for Five Days
A San Diego college student filed a $20 million dollar lawsuit against the Drug Enforcement Agency (“DEA”) this week after being forgotten in a jail cell for almost five days without any food or water. The victim, Daniel Chong, is a 23 year-old engineering student at the University of California, San Diego.
Chong was taken into custody by the DEA on the morning of April 21, 2012 in San Diego, after a drug raid was conducted on the home Chong was staying in the night before. Chong was subsequently taken to a DEA holding cell, where he was questioned and told charges would not be filed against him. After questioning, he was handcuffed and returned to the holding cell where he was apparently forgotten about for nearly five days.
During his time in the small, windowless holding cell, Chong says he went into “survival mode” after two days had gone by and no one had come for him. Having no food or water, Chong was forced to drink his own urine to survive. Chong says he continuously screamed and yelled to no avail. Still handcuffed, Chong attempted to commit suicide by breaking his eye glasses and attempting to cut himself. Chong says he suffered from hallucinations after he ingested a white powder he found in the cell which later tested positive for methamphetamines. When the DEA finally found Chong’s in the cell nearly five days later, Chong had to spend three days in the intensive care unit at the hospital due to kidney failure.
Since news of Chong’s ordeal broke, a DEA’s San Diego spokesperson, issued a statement saying the DEA was deeply disturbed by the story and extending their “deepest apologies” to Chong. This week, however, Chong filed a $20 million dollar lawsuit against the DEA, saying the DEA’s actions constituted torture. Chong seeks damages for pain and suffering, future medical and psychiatric treatment, and loss of future earnings.
If you have suffered unfair treatment at the hands of law enforcement, please contact Khorrami, LLP for a free and confidential consultation.
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