Last April, University of California San Diego student Daniel Chong was left in a DEA holding cell for four days, eventually resorting to drinking his own urine to survive. Last year, he filed a $20 million lawsuit against the DEA, which he settled for $4.1 million yesterday.
The 25-year-old Chong was taken into custody after the DEA raided a house where he was present. Guns, ammunition and at least 18,000 pills of ecstacy were seized during the raid. When agents learned that Chong was not involved, he was informed that he wouldn't be charged, but was still placed in a holding cell where he was left for four days.
Without food or water, Chong was forced to drink his own urine and started hallucinating. He eventually accepted that he was going to die and attempted to write "sorry mom" on his arm using a piece of glass, but he was exhausted after carving an "s." When DEA agents finally rememered that they had left Chong, he had lost 15 pounds and was covered in feces. He spent five days in the hospital recovering.
Accordong to Chong's attorney, Julia Yoo, he's since returned to school and switched his major from engineering to economics. Yoo added that the DEA now has a policy where daily phone calls are placed to agents reminding them to check on prisoners.