San Diego Student Left for Four Days in DEA Holding Cell
Daniel Chong survived by taking extreme measures.
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: May 5th, 2012
he war on drugs has largely been referred to as a losing battle, if anything. Most people regard it as a silly battle altogether, since not a lot of progress has been made in it. But a recent event involving a student from UC San Diego kind of takes the cake on "misuse of police power." Daniel Chong, 24, survived after being left in a DEA holding cell for five days by drinking his own urine, eventually attempting suicide.
In a drug raid in April, police seized 18,000 ecstasy pills, other drugs, and guns, and several people were arrested. Chong was one of the people arrested, and said that after being placed in a holding cell, DEA agents told him that he would be let go soon, and one even promised to give him a ride home. Unfortunately, what actually happened was far different.
Were any drugs found on Chong? Reportedly, no.
Chong was left in a 5-by-10-foot windowless cell and said that over the next few days, he screamed as loud as he could, but that his cries were left unanswered. Eventually , Chong broke down, in a fit of near-starvation.
"I had to recycle my own urine. I had to do what I had to do to survive," he said.
Chong was discovered on April 25, four days after the arrests were made, and he was taken to the hospital to be treated for cramps, dehydration, and a perforated lung—an injury he sustained after attempting suicide by eating broken glass. Chong had taken a lense from his glasses and bit into it to create shards and sharp ends, then ingested it.
"When they opened the door, one of them said, 'Here's the water you've been asking for'," he said.
Chong is currently planning to file a lawsuit against the DEA. The DEA has since issued an apology to Chong, but hasn't commented otherwise. Either way, there's no reason that Chong should have been left alone for four days.
Chong's ordeal is just the latest in a decades-long mishandling of the way drugs are treated by the justice system, and another incident in a long line of infractions dealt out by the police force.
And were any drugs actually found on Chong? Reportedly, no. Good going, DEA. Really. Excellent work.