Student Charges Torture, Seeks $20 Million for Mistaken DEA Lockup


The University of California San Diego student mistakenly locked up by federal drug officials for five days with no food or water filed a $20 million claim that referred to his ordeal as torture, says the San Diego Union-Tribune. Attorney Eugene Iredale sent the five-page demand notice on behalf of engineering student Daniel Chong, 23, to the Drug Enforcement Administration. “The deprivation of food and water for four and one-half days while the person is handcuffed the entire time constitutes torture under both international and domestic law,” the claim says.

Chong was taken into custody April 21 during a drug sweep of a residence by narcotics task force agents. He was interviewed and told he would be sent home, but instead was left for days inside a holding cell without food, water or a bathroom. Chong said he had to drink his own urine to survive and ate his broken glasses during hallucinations caused by severe dehydration. Chong was discovered April 25 and rushed to a hospital, where he spent five days in recovery. The DEA has acknowledged the mistake.

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