Student receives more than $4M after being 'forgotten' in jail for five days
A University of California student spent five days forgotten in a windowless jail cell without food and water, and was forced to drink his own urine to survive. Now, the US government is voluntarily paying the young man $4.1 million to avoid a lawsuit.
Daniel Chong, a 25-year-old economics student at UC San Diego, was one of nine people taken into custody during a drug raid in April 2012. Chong was at a friend's house when officers discovered 18,000 ecstasy pills at the home. He was locked in a Drug Enforcement Administration jail cell, but after questioning the young man, a police officer authorized to perform DEA work told the student that he would not be charged.
"Hang tight, we'll come get you in a minute," the officer told Chong, according to Attorney Eugene Iredale.
But the officer never returned, and Chong spent five dismal days in the 5 by 10 ft. windowless cell. The student, who was still handcuffed, had no food, water, or access to a toilet, and barely survived his living nightmare.
"It sounded like it was an accident – a really, really bad, horrible accident," he said at a news conference this week, in which he described how close he came to death.