"Calif. student left in DEA cell to get $4.1 million" by Elliot Spagat and Alicia A. Caldwell | Associated Press, July 31, 2013
SAN DIEGO — The Justice Department will pay $4.1 million to a California college student left in a Drug Enforcement Administration holding cell for four days without food or water last year, two people familiar with the case said.
Daniel Chong, 25, was detained in an April 2012 drug raid in San Diego and left in the 5-by-10-foot windowless holding cell. He said he drank his own urine to stay alive and tried to write a farewell message to his mother with his own blood.
I think he de$erved more.
Chong, who was an engineering student at University of California, San Diego, was at a friend’s house in April 2012 when a US Drug Enforcement Administration raid netted 18,000 ecstasy pills, other drugs, and weapons. Chong and eight others were taken into custody.
Agents told Chong he would not be charged and had him wait in the cell at DEA offices in San Diego. The door did not reopen for four days.
Chong said he began to hallucinate on the third day. He urinated on a metal bench to drink his urine. He tried to reach an overhead fire sprinkler, futilely swatting at it with his cuffed hands to set it off.
Chong said that he gave up and accepted death. He bit into his eyeglasses to break them and used a shard to carve ‘‘Sorry Mom’’ onto his arm. He managed to finish an ‘‘S.’’
Related: Chong Left Too Long in California Cell
And it cost American taxpayers