College Student Abandoned In Jail Cell Sues the DEA for $20 Million, Calling His Ordeal 'Torture'
A college student left in a jail cell who drank his own urine to survive five days without food or water has filed a lawsuit against the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Attorney Eugene Iredale sent a notice to the general counsel at the DEA on behalf of his client Daniel Chong, 23, an engineering student at UC San Diego who got picked up during a drug bust while visiting friends in University City on 4/20, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. His attorney is asking for no more than $20 million and referred to his 5-day ordeal as "torture." Chong lost 15 pounds during that time, and he was hospitalized for five days after he was finally released.
"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 says.
William R. Sherman, the special agent in charge of the DEA in San Diego, sent out a statement yesterday apologizing for what happened without naming Chong:
"I am deeply troubled by the incident that occurred here last week. 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. I have personally ordered an extensive review of our policies and procedures."
It's not clear what happened. Before Chong was abandoned in a cell a DEA agent told him that he would be able to go home and one even offered him a ride, NBC San Diego reported. The DEA says it has launched an internal investigation, and US Senator Barbara Boxer and Congressman Darrell Issa have asked for further investigation.