Daniel Chong appears at a news conference where he discussed his detention by the DEA during a news conference on May 1, 2012 in San Diego. Chong, a U.S. college student, was forgotten by federal drug agents and left in a holding cell for five days without food, water or access to a toilet says he drank his own urine to survive.
A UC San Diego student detained in a drug bust on April 21 says he was forgotten in federal holding cell for five days without food, water or a bathroom.
Daniel Chong, an Engineering major says he kicked, screamed and cried in the windowless cell and could hear people on the other side of the door.
Eugene Iredale, the attorney representing Chong, says his client drank his own urine to survive and ate glass and methamphetamine that had been accidentally left in the cell.
He plans to file a lawsuit on Chong's behalf against the DEA. Initial paperwork was submitted today, reports the L.A. Times. Iredale also hopes Chong will be able to make up the exams he missed while incarcerated.
Chong, who taken into custody during a drug sweep of a suspected Ecstasy distribution operation was reportedly to be released after authorities determined he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Federal officials acknowledge they detained seven people from an apartment in University City, California where Chong was detained. Officials say they seized weapons and illicit drugs at the residence. Following the raid, the suspects were assigned separate holding cells in a DEA office in Kearny Mesa.
"Seven suspects were brought to county [jail] after processing," according to a DEA statement about the incident. "One was released, and [Chong] was accidentally left in one of the cells.'"
In a statement, William R. Sherman, acting special agent in charge of the DEA's San Diego Division, said the agency will review "both the events and the detention procedures on April 21st and after," and offered an apology for the troubling incident.
Admitted into doctor's care with near kidney failure, trouble breathing, and hallucinations, Chong spent five days in the hospital following the ordeal.
UT San Diego reports the student used broken eyeglasses to carve "Sorry Mom" into his arm.