Student Left in DEA Cell: I Had to Drink Own Urine

Daniel Chong recounts horrifying DEA experience

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted May 2, 2012 11:14 AM CDT

(Newser) – A UC San Diego student who was left, apparently forgotten, in a 5'x10' Drug Enforcement Agency cell for five days says he had to drink his own urine to survive. Daniel Chong, 23, was at a friend's house to celebrate 4/20 when DEA agents raided the residence and took him to their office, NBC San Diego reports. Though no charges were filed against him and he was told he could go home, Chong was instead placed in a cell where he spent the next five days with no human contact, no food, and no water, he says. He will file a claim with the federal court system today, one week after his release.

He screamed and kicked the door, but was "ignored," he says—despite the fact that he could hear DEA employees and others in nearby cells. By the third day, he was "completely insane" and hallucinating, says Chong, who explains he found a powdery substance in the cell and ate it; it was later determined to be meth. By the time he was released, he had lost 15 pounds and his kidneys were close to failing. On the fourth day, he broke his glasses and used the shards to attempt suicide; he even ingested some of the glass. When he was finally found, by DEA employees he described as nervous-looking, he spent three days in intensive care. The DEA has yet to apologize, Chong's lawyer says.

Daniel Chong recounts horrifying DEA experience.
Daniel Chong recounts horrifying DEA experience.   (Shutterstock)
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