Back on 4/20 engineering student Daniel Chong decided to live up to his legendary last name by going to the house of some of his friends and getting really high. After he smoked up, he promptly fell asleep and ended up spending the night.
The next day as he was rolling his morning joint the place was raided by the DEA and Daniel was taken to a holding area. Since it was determined he wasn’t one of the dealers, he wasn’t transferred to the county jail, and he was supposed to be released.
Unfortunately for Daniel his good luck turned into a nightmare when after being taken back to his holding cell the agents forgot about him. He spent the next four-and-a-half days with no food, water or a toilet, and in his delirium tried to kill himself, allegedly ate some meth powder he found in his cell and even clawed into the walls looking for water after hallucinating that Japanese cartoon characters told him some was in there.
I freely admit that I’ve held a few college kids in cages in my time, but you have to feed and water them or they’ll die. When David was found he was covered in feces, on the brink of kidney failure and had a perforated esophagus from swallowing glass. He had to spend five days in the hospital, including three in intensive care, and it was estimated that he would have died if he had spent another day in the cell.
The DEA didn’t seem to think this was a big deal, and in their original statement spokeswoman Amy Roderick deflected blame from the DEA by reminding everyone Chong brought this on himself by being “at the house, by his own admission, to get high with his friends.”
I didn’t realize smoking a joint is a capital crime, but the DEA seems to disagree.
Now that the media has picked up this story the DEA has become more contrite, and according to San Diego Acting Special Agent in Charge William R. Sherman, will “review of our policies and procedures.”
That seems like a good idea because I see a few problems here. For one, how was there meth left in a holding cell? Two, how do you forget someone in a cell for almost five days? I make a grocery list when I go to the store so I don’t forget anything, and you guys may want to consider doing the same thing for the people you arrest. I understand all Orientals look alike, and every other one is named Chong, but at least make an effort to keep track of them.