University of California student Daniel Chong was arrested along with seven others by the DEA in a campus drug raid. They were then placed into a holding cell with no food or water for five consecutive days. The agents forgot all about them.
Danial, 24, is now seeking a lawyer to file a civil suit on the grounds of neglect.
According to the DEA, Chong was one of 7 that were detained after a raid on a home in University City on April 21st, where drugs such as ecstasy, marijuana, prescription medication, hallucinogenic mushrooms, and a white powdery substance that was described as a synthetic hallucinogen were recovered.
The DEA says along with the drugs, numerous weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition were found.
“Seven suspects were brought back to county detention.” One was released, after admitting he was in the home on his own accord, but “accidentally left in one of the cells,” a statement from the DEA read.
After the raid, all the suspects were brought back to the DEA office to be processed, where there are 5 holding cells. After one worker heard a noise coming from the holding cell area five days later he discovered the lone student still in a cell and called for emergency medical assistance. It was reported that due to dehydration, he nearly died of kidney failure. After days of treatment in the hospital, he was released.
A law enforcement told a local NBC news station that the cell the student was held in a cell no bigger than an average bathroom.
“In all my years of practice I’ve never heard of the DEA or any federal government employee simply forgetting about someone that they have in their care,” defense attorney Gretchen Von Helms says.
“There has to be repercussions if people do not follow the safety and the care when they have a human being in their custody,” as Helms explains that the student could receive millions if he decided to sue.
Meanwhile, federal prosecutor, John Kirby calls the incident “inconceivable” that a suspect could be lost in the shuffle like this. However he believes the incident was not intentional, “because somebody’s career is done over this,” added Kirby.