Student Forgotten in DEA Cell Wants $20M

Daniel Chong's treatment 'torture,' lawyers say

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted May 3, 2012 10:43 AM CDT

(Newser) – The five days Daniel Chong spent, forgotten and with no access to food or water, in a DEA cell "constitute torture," his lawyers say in a claim filed yesterday. Chong seeks up to $20 million in compensation for the incident, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. "The deprivation of food and water for four and one-half days while the person is handcuffed the entire time constitutes torture under both international and domestic law," the claim reads.

The DEA has acknowledged Chong was "accidentally" left in the cell, and the acting special agent in charge of the DEA’s San Diego Division apologized in a statement obtained by the Los Angeles Times. "I am deeply troubled by the incident that occurred here last week," says William R. Sherman, who notes that he has ordered a review. "I extend my deepest apologies [to] the young man and want to express that this event is not indicative of the high standards that I hold my employees to." Click for more on Chong's ordeal, in which he reportedly hallucinated, drank his own urine, and ate his own glasses.

4.5 days = $20 million?
4.5 days = $20 million?   (Shutterstock)
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