We’re glad he at least got something out the deal.
Student Left In Cell For Five Days Awarded $4 Million
According Mail Online
The college student forgotten in a holding cell for five days without food or water, took a $4.1 million settlement from the Justice Department his lawyer announced Tuesday.
24-year-old University of California, San Diego student Daniel Chong was arrested on April 21, 2012 as part of a major drug bust.
He was taken to county jail and subsequently forgotten in a cell for five days – starving and hallucinating.
“It was an accident,” Mr Chong said in a news conference on Tuesday attended by KPBS, “a really bad, horrible accident.”
Mr Chong’s attorney Eugene Iredale said that the Justice Department is still trying to figure out how Mr Chong slipped from their notice, but the inspector general still has no answers.
The DEA did not have a system in place at the time on how to treat detainees, but has since installed camera in each of the cells and holds daily inspections.
“What happened to Daniel should never happen to any human being on the face of the planet,’ Mr Ireland said in the press conference.
‘The government has recognized the profound suffering that Daniel underwent,’ he said.
Mr Iredale said that no one has been disciplined for the drug bust, and that no criminal charges will be filed.
The student originally planned to sue for $20million.
Mr Chong said he is in good health back UC San Diego studying engineering.
The engineering student was swept up as one of nine suspects in an April 21 drug raid that netted 18,000 ecstasy pills, other drugs and weapons.
Seven suspects were taken to county jail, and another was released, but Mr Chong was somehow left behind, said Amy Roderick, a spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Administration.
‘Each suspect was interviewed in separate interview rooms, and frequently moved around between rooms and cells,’ Ms Roderick said.
‘The individual in question was accidentally left in one of the cells.’
Mr Chong said federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents told him he would be let go. One agent even promised to drive him home from the DEA field office in Kearny Mesa, he said.
Instead, he was returned to a holding cell to await release.
Mr Chong said he could hear the muffled voices of agents outside his five-by-10-foot windowless cell and the door of the next cell being opened and closed.
It took him nearly five days at Sharp hospital to recover, he said.
How do you forget about someone in a cell for five days? Can you say dropped the ball?