clear
Wednesday June 1st, 2016 4:06AM

Student left in DEA cell to get $4 million from US

By The Associated Press
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 told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Daniel Chong, 23, 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.

The people familiar with the case spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the settlement before it was announced Tuesday morning at a news conference.

Chong, who was an engineering student at University of California, San Diego, was at a friend's house in April 2012 when a U.S. 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, when agents found him severely dehydrated and covered in his own feces.

Chong said he began to hallucinate on the third day. He urinated on a metal bench to drink his urine. He stacked a blanket, his pants and shoes on the bench and tried to reach an overhead fire sprinkler, futilely swatting at it with his cuffed hands to set it off.

Chong said last year that he gave up and accepted death. He bit into his eyeglasses to break them. He said he used a shard of glass to carve "Sorry Mom" onto his arm so he could leave something for her. He managed to finish an "S."

Chong was hospitalized for five days for dehydration, kidney failure, cramps and a perforated esophagus. He lost 15 pounds.

The DEA issued a rare public apology at the time.

Chong's attorney, Eugene Iredale, said Monday that he would announce "an important development" Tuesday, little more than a year after filing a $20 million claim against the federal government.

A DEA spokesman, Rusty Payne, referred questions Monday to the Justice Department, which handled settlement negotiations. A call to the Justice Department's public affairs office was not returned.
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
S&P 500 index has its best year since 1997
The stock market closed out a record year with more all-time highs on Tuesday, giving U.S. indexes their biggest annual gains in almost two decades.
6:56PM ( 2 years ago )
Colorado readies for 'Green Wednesday' pot sales
Police were adding extra patrols around pot shops in eight Colorado towns that plan to allow recreational sales to anyone over 21 on Jan. 1.
1:52PM ( 2 years ago )
Kerry seeks framework for Mideast peace talks
A senior State Department official says Secretary of State John Kerry will try this week to get Israel and the Palestinians to agree on a framework for negotiating a final peace agreement, yet cautions against raising expectations for Kerry's latest round of shuttle diplomacy.
1:35PM ( 2 years ago )
U.S. News
Fire Tuesday night heavily damages Banks County home
A Banks County home was heavily damaged by fire Tuesday night.
2:31AM ( 1 hour ago )
AUDIO: UNG offers new summer food program for hungry kids
Pamela Elfenbein, a professor of human services and sociology with the University of North Georgia, joined the Afternoon News Wrap this week to discuss UNG's new summer food service program.
By Afternoon News Wrap
10:43PM ( 5 hours ago )
Pedestrian fatality temporarily shuts down stretch of I-85 in Jackson Co.
‚ÄčA pedestrian was pronounced dead in Jackson County Tuesday afternoon, possibly hit by a vehicle on Interstate 85 at the Dry Pond Road exit, emergency officials said.
By AccessWDUN Staff
7:02PM ( 9 hours ago )
Obama urges public to get ready for hurricane season
President Barack Obama is urging the public to prepare for the coming hurricane season and warning against what he says is a growing "complacency" when it comes to dangerous weather
6:07PM ( 9 hours ago )
Forsyth County shooting suspect's vehicle found abandoned in Buford
The vehicle belonging to a suspected wanted for a double shooting in Forsyth County has been found in Buford, near the Mall of Georgia.
11:58AM ( 16 hours ago )