DOJ releases report on UCSD student forgotten in DEA holding cell for 5 days

Daniel Chong
Daniel Chong

SAN DIEGO, CA (KGTV/CNN) — Department of Justice investigators have released a report in the case of a University of California San Diego student abandoned in a Drug Enforcement Agency holding cell.

The student says he nearly died while being held illegally.

He went five days without food or water, his hands cuffed behind his back in a five by 10 foot holding cell.

“That door never opened, I never got released,” Daniel Chong said.

Now, a summarized report from the Department of Justice says four agents saw or heard 24-year-old Daniel Chong in that time, but did nothing, assuming he was someone else’s responsibility.

The agents and a supervisor then failed to properly report and investigate the matter.

KGTV went straight to Chong’s attorney to find out what this means.

“A complete, a thorough and a fair investigation of this matter,” Chong’s attorney Gene Iredale said.

But he adds that he wants to see the entire report.

“What’s also troubling is that we’re only given a three page summary and not given access to the entire report,” Iredale explains.

The UCSD student was arrested in April 2012 at a friend’s house when a DEA raid found drugs and weapons.

Chong was supposed to be released and not charged.

But he quickly realized in his cell that he was forgotten.

He drank his own urine to stay hydrated, and even used broken glass to cut himself.

“I was like – you’re going to have a death on your hands if you don’t let me out right now,” Chong remembers.

In a 2013 settlement, Chong was awarded $4.1-million dollars.

Iredale adds that it was an anonymous telephone call that prompted this investigation.

By an anonymous caller? KGTV asked Iredale if it was him.

“It was not me. It was, I believe probably somebody within the agency who had that golden thing called a conscience,” Iredale said.

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