Lifestyle & Belief

DEA agents abandoned student in jail cell for five days after 4/20 drug bust; he drank his own urine to survive


Protesters smoke marijuana during a demonstration against new government legislation calling for the creation of a "weed pass" and the stopping of the substance's sale to foreigners, in Amsterdam, on April 20, 2012. It's 4/20, now internationally renowned as Pot Day, with many protests planned for 4:20 p.m.



Drug Enforcement Administration agents are trying to figure out how police forgot about someone in a jail cell for five days. 

Daniel Chong, an engineering student at the University of California, San Diego, went to a friend's house for a party on April 20, to celebrate the 4/20 holiday. On April 21, DEA officials busted threw the door and took nine of the people at the party, including Chong, into custody, U-T San Diego reported.

While the police did find 18,00 ecstasy pills, other drugs and weapons, Chong was never actually arrested and was not going to be charged with a crime, the Associated Press reported. He should have been released earlier, an official told the AP.

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Instead, the DEA left him locked inside a five-by-10-foot windowless cell, U-T San Diego reported. He screamed, kicked the door and cried, but agents continued to chat with each other on the other side of the heavy door. He received no water, food or access to a toilet. Eventually he broke his glasses and used the shards to write "Sorry Mom" on his warm.

Chong said he lost 15 pounds. He drank his own urine to survive, NBC News reported. “I had to do what I had to do to survive …. I hallucinated by the third day,” Chong told NBC. “I was completely insane.”

When jail employees finally found him, they looked confused, Chong told NBC. They took Chong to the hospital, where staff also found shards of glass in his throat. 

The DEA apologized and is now investigating how officials could have forgotten Chong, the AP reported today.