Daniel Chong, a 23 year old University of California San Diego student, was detained by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and then left for dead for five days without food or water.
On April 21, Daniel was smoking marijuana with friends when DEA agents suddenly burst through the door of his friend’s apartment with guns drawn. Daniel was detained and taken to the local DEA field office in San Diego, where he was placed in a five-foot by ten-foot windowless holding cell and handcuffed. Then, he was forgotten about by DEA agents for five days without food, water, or access to a bathroom.
Daniel tried everything he could to get the attention of the agents, including kicking the door to his holding cell and screaming for help, but nobody ever came. He eventually became so loud that even a neighboring prisoner started to complain, but still he got no attention. By day three, the lights had been shut off, and Daniel lay in complete darkness alone — famished and dehydrated. Daniel turned to drinking his own urine just to survive. After being ignored for days, he finally had enough, and tried to take his own life. He broke apart his eyeglasses and attempted to carve “I am sorry, Mom” into the flesh of his left arm.
Finally, on day five, agents returned to Daniel’s cell, after hearing strange sounds, and found him barely alive, exhibiting signs of kidney failure from dehydration. He was immediately rushed to the hospital where he spent three days in intensive care before being stabilized. In an interview with NBC San Diego, Daniel said, “They never came back, ignored all my cries and I still don’t know what happened, I’m not sure how they could forget me.”