ONTD Political

Student Left And Forgotten In Holding Cell For Five Days Gets Apology

4:50 am - 05/03/2012

Daniel Chong, a California college senior who "was left alone in a federal holding cell for five days with no food or water," now at least has an apology from the Drug Enforcement Adminstration.

That likely won't make up for having to drink his urine to survive, as Chong spoke of to reporters on Tuesday.

Chong is a University of California, San Diego, senior engineering student. According to Fox5SanDiego.com, he "was detained for questioning along with eight other people during an April 21 raid in which agents seized guns, ammunition and various drugs."

Chong, who faces no charges related to the raid, says he suffered hallucinations during the five days. "I was completely insane," he said Tuesday, according to The San Diego Union Tribune. No one heard his shouts for help.

At one point, Chong said, he tried to commit suicide by cutting his wrists with the broken shards of his eyeglasses.

Today, The Associated Press reports, "DEA San Diego Acting Special Agent-In-Charge William R. Sherman said in a statement that he was troubled by the treatment of Daniel Chong and extended his 'deepest apologies' to him."

One hopes that somewhat more than an apology is coming - 'so sorry - we gave you 5 days of hell and nearly killed you* with it; have a nice life and please don't sue us.'
*it's pretty impressive to manage to survive 5 days with no water
imnotasquirrel 4th-May-2012 12:00 am (UTC)
I buy that it was an accident. I don't believe that the DEA locked him in there on purpose, otherwise the officer who finally let him out probably wouldn't have looked so sheepish, the DEA wouldn't have offered to pay for his hospital bill right away, and there would have been no reason for them to tell Chong in the first place that they'd let him go.

Still, I mean, the fact that I think it was an accident doesn't mean they're off the hook. It was an accident born of extreme, gross negligence and I hope Chong wins the maximum amount in his lawsuit - honestly, I'm surprised he's only going for $20m. That's a lot of money, but considering that I can see this incident traumatizing the guy for YEARS, well....

The idea that this was an accident actually kinda scares me more than the thought that they could have done this deliberately. I can wrap my head around people being deliberately cruel motherfuckers, but I can't fathom this level of scary, life-threatening incompetence. It probably shouldn't surprise me, but it does.
crossfire 4th-May-2012 12:19 am (UTC)
My reservations are because of three things:

First, I'm thinking they could hear him. Chong said he could hear both the guards and other prisoners, so I'm going to make the assumption they could hear him.

Second, there was methamphetamine in the cell.

Third, you don't just lock someone in a cell and ~forget~ about them. That's not how incarceration facilities work; there's a significant amount of P&P around prisoner transfer and release.

Now, you could explain away each one of those things hypothetically (maybe he wasn't loud enough to be heard; maybe the meth was left there by another prisoner, maybe he just fell through the P&P cracks, etc) and if there was only one of these things I'd probably be on board with that. But three? That's an awful lot of trout in that milk.

There clearly needs to be an investigation of this. If there is and they can explain those three things, I'm all for it. Until then I'm side-eyeing the shit out of this.
thecityofdis 4th-May-2012 03:39 pm (UTC)
This. I would eat my hat - I don't own a hat, but I would fucking go out and buy one just to eat it - if literally no one heard him over the course of those five days.

Some bullshit, that's what that excuse is.
harumi 4th-May-2012 01:38 am (UTC)
You know what's really horrifying for me was the fact that they only felt *sheepish*. I don't know about you, but if it had been me I would be mortified and immediately resign. It's just such an awful thing to do, even by accident. If makes me wonder if there are any decent people in that place. They sound almost evil in their disconnect from the fact that they were responsible for torturing someone near to death. How do they sleep at night? How do they live with themselves?
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