U.S. Law Center

Federal government to pay $4.1 million to detained college student

The federal government has reached a settlement with a 25-year-old college student who was left in a windowless cell for nearly five days with no food or water. According to a HuffingtonPost.com report, Daniel Chong was arrested and taken into custody during a drug raid in San Diego.

The police officer who took him to the cell said that he would not be charged with a crime (simply for being at the home) and that someone would get him "in a minute." He was then placed in the five by ten foot cell.

Minutes went by, then hours, then days. No one came to get him.

Five days later, DEA agents found him in the cell only after he had slid a shoelace under the cell door. He was covered in his own feces and was incoherent. Chong said that he began hallucinating after the third day in the cell. He even drank his own urine, since he had nothing in his body since being locked in the cell.

He also tried to stack the mattress and sheets in an attempt to induce the fire extinguisher, but that did not work either. He accepted the possibility that he would die in the cell, and bit into his eyeglasses to carve a short note "sorry mom" in his arm. He only managed an "S".

Nevertheless, Chong believes that there was no malice or ill will in his confinement; simply calling it an unfortunate incident. No one at the DEA has been punished as of yet. Meanwhile, Chong will collect about $3.2 million after attorney's fees are paid since settlement payments are tax free

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