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UCSD Student Awarded $4.1 Million After Forgotten In Holding Cell For Five Days

“What happened to Daniel Chong should never happen to any human being on the face of the planet.” – Attorney Eugene Iredale

The “what” that Iredale is referring to in that sentence is being forgotten about in a holding cell and abandoned for five days without food or water. His client, Daniel Chong, 25, was arrested after a drug bust near the campus of UC San Diego which yielded marijuana, several weapons, and a whopping 18,000 ecstasy pills.

The arrest occurred on April 20 (4/20 for you dopers) after Chong went to his boys’ house to get ripped. He, along with six others (none of whom were named Cheech as far as I know – this one was sitting on a tee for me), was brought into the San Diego field office of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for questioning. Chong then sufficiently answered a series of questions, and the agents agreed to let him leave without filing charges.

He didn’t go home, though. They returned him to a holding cell and simply forgot about him. For five days. Dude even had to drink his own piss. How messed up is that?

He has said he became delirious, drank his own urine, ate the broken shards of his glasses and used the glass to cut the message “sorry mom” in his own forearm.

He said he kicked the door and screamed for help but agents never came to his assistance. DEA agents admitted later they “accidentally” left Chong in the cell and took the unusual step of apologizing publicly to the UCSD student.

He ate his glasses? How delirious do you have to be to try and munch down on some spectacles? Poor kid. I’d have started gnawing on my fingers and toes I think, maybe even my shoe, before trying to stomach my broken eyeglasses. What a nightmare.

Chong originally sought $20 million in damages, but settled for $4.1 million.

[via UT San Diego]


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Dillon Cheverere

Dillon Cheverere (@DCheverere) is the Vice President of Media for Grandex, Inc. He's a native Texan with a full head of hair and knows his way around a nice box of red wine. Dorn graduated (BBA) with a GPA sitting in the meaty part of the bell curve, not lagging behind, but not trying to show off, either. Golf is his game now. He's long off the tee but can't putt for shit. Email:

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