Daniel Chong made headlines when he was “forgotten” in a DEA cell for several days after a drug raid on someone else’s house — but the 2012 ordeal has resulted in a settlement award for the student.
Chong was forgotten in a DEA cell for five days, with no water, food, or restroom facilities. In the course of the ordeal, Chong suffered not only extensive bodily injury, but now has post-traumatic stress disorder after the near-fatal incident.
When Chong was finally discovered, he had been forced to drink his own urine to stay alive. The young man was covered in feces, had been hallucinating, and wound up hospitalized for several days with a damaged esophagus, dehydration, and near kidney failure.
Later, Chong would recall how he came to be forgotten in a DEA cell, left there by a cop who said he’d be back in a “minute.”
He now says it “sounded like it was an accident – a really, really bad, horrible accident,” and at the time, Chong recalls the days he spent locked away, fighting to alert someone to his plight:
“I didn’t just sit there quietly. I was kicking the door yelling… I even put some shoestrings, shoelaces through the crack of the door for visual signs. I didn’t stay still, no, I was screaming.”
The BBC reports that Chong stated he thought he would die, adding:
At one point, Mr. Chong admitted, he thought he was going to die. He broke his eyeglasses by biting into them and tried to carve a ‘Sorry Mom’ farewell message. He managed to finish an ‘S.’ “
As Chong puts being forgotten in a DEA cell in a harrowing experience behind him, the Drug Enforcement Agency confirms that they’ve settled for $4.1 million after the incident. The student plans to complete school, and says he will buy his parents a house.