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Man Abandoned In US Cell Gets $4m


A California college student left in a holding cell for four days without food or water will be paid $US4.1 million by the US Justice Department, sources have said.

23-year-old Daniel Chong was detained in an April 2012 drug raid in San Diego and was left in the 1.5-metre x 3-metre windowless holding cell.

Chong said he drank his own urine to stay alive and tried to write a farewell message to his mother with his own blood.

Those familiar with the case spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the settlement before it was announced on Tuesday morning at a news conference.

Chong, who was an engineering student at University of California, San Diego, was at a friend’s house in April 2012 when a US Drug Enforcement Administration raid netted 18,000 ecstasy pills, other drugs and weapons. Chong and eight others were taken into custody.

Agents told Chong he would not be charged and had him wait in the cell at DEA offices in San Diego. The door did not reopen for four days, when agents found him severely dehydrated and covered in his own faeces.

Chong was hospitalised for five days for dehydration, kidney failure, cramps and a perforated esophagus. He lost 7 kilos.

The DEA issued a rare public apology at the time.

Chong’s attorney, Eugene Iredale, said on Monday that he would announce “an important development” on Tuesday, little more than a year after filing a $US20 million claim against the federal government.



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