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The Justice Department has agreed to pay Daniel Chong millions of dollars in compensation after he was mistakenly left in a holding cell for five days.
The Justice Department will pay a student mistakenly left in a holding cell for five days $4.1 million in a settlement in advance of a lawsuit.
In April 2012, Daniel Chong, an engineering student at UC San Diego, was swept up by Drug Enforcement Administration agents during a drug raid on a friend’s off-campus house.
After he was questioned, he was told he would be released, the Los Angeles Times reported. However, Chong was locked in a 5-by-10-foot windowless holding cell, and police didn’t return to let him out until five days later.
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The room had no water, food or toilet, forcing Chong to drink his own urine to stay alive.
"I had to do what I had to do to survive," he told NBC News last May. "I hallucinated by the third day. I was completely insane."
Believing he would die in there, he broke his glasses and attempted to carve a farewell message to his mother onto his arm.
Following his ordeal, Chong was hospitalized for five days for dehydration, kidney failure, cramps and a perforated esophagus. No charges were filed against him.
"This was a mistake of unbelievable and unimaginable proportions," his attorney Julia Yoo told CNN.