4 days handcuffed in cell. College student in California suffers horrifying ordeal
Man left handcuffed in tiny jail cell for four days
In what many think only happens in third world countries, a California college student was swept up by police during a drug raid and left handcuffed for four days in a tiny jail cell. Twenty-three-year-old Daniel Chong said that he would not be charged at the time of his arrest. He was then left in a five-by-ten windowless room for four days.
College student Daniel Chong said federal agents left him there 'while they finished paperwork' to release him, he was told. The hours dragged on and he wound up spending the night there. Furious, he screamed and kicked at the door.
Hours then became days, and Chang came to the terrifying realization that he was trapped. Hearing only the muffled sounds of voices and toilets flushing in the Drug Enforcement Administration facility in San Diego, Chang became frantic.
Chang began to hallucinate on the third day. He urinated on a metal bench to be able to drink his urine. He stacked a blanket, his pants and shoes on the bench and tried to reach an overhead fire sprinkler, swatting at it with his cuffed hands in a hopeless attempt to set it off.
Chong gave up and accepted death. He bit into his eyeglasses to break them. Using a shard of glass to carve "Sorry Mom" onto his arm so he could leave something for his mom, Chang managed to finish an "S." He says he considered ending his life with the glass to quicken his death.
Help arrived after four days, when agents on a fluke opened the door and found him covered in his own feces. "Where'd you come from?" an agent asked him
Spending five days in the hospital for dehydration, kidney failure, cramps and a perforated esophagus, Chang had lost 15 pounds.
His attorneys have now filed a $20 million claim against the federal agency, saying his treatment constitutes torture under U.S. and international law. The five-page notice, a required precursor to a lawsuit, was sent to the DEA's chief counsel in Washington, D.C. The $20 million figure refers to the maximum amount that Chong and his lawyers will seek.
The top DEA agent in San Diego, William R. Sherman, said that he was "deeply troubled" by what happened to Chong and has personally ordered an extensive review of his office's policies and procedures.
As Chong was not going to be charged with a crime, he should have been released, a law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Thomas Beauclair, deputy director of the National Corrections Institute says that the incident was one of the worst cases of its kind. "That is pretty much unheard of," he said, noting that, in his 40-year career, he has heard of instances where people were forgotten overnight -- but not for days.
In addition, a federal law enforcement official familiar with DEA operations said the agency's protocols require that cells be checked each night. The cell where Chong was held is not intended for overnight stays because it does not have a toilet.
On top of everything else -- Chong said no one has contacted him personally to apologize.
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: San Diego, imprisonment, torture, college student
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