A San Diego college student was forgotten by federal drug agents and left in a holding cell for five days without food, water or access to a toilet.
Daniel Chong said he drank his own urine to survive. He also said he bit into his glasses to break them and tried to use a shard to scratch "Sorry Mom" into his arm, according to the newspaper U-T San Diego. The 24-year-old engineering student from University of California, San Diego, was swept up as one of nine suspects in a drug raid on 21 April that netted 18,000 ecstasy pills, other drugs and weapons.
Chong said federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents told him he would be let go. One agent even promised to drive him home from the DEA field office in Kearny Mesa, he said.
Instead, Chong was returned to a holding cell to await release. The DEA spokeswoman, Amy Roderick, said he was accidentally left there.
Chong said he could hear the muffled voices of agents outside his 1.5-by-three-metre (5ftx10ft) windowless cell and the door of the next cell being opened and closed. He kicked and screamed as loud as he could, but his cries for help apparently went unheard.
"I had to recycle my own urine," he said. "I had to do what I had to do to survive."
When Chong was found on 25 April, he was taken to a hospital and treated for cramps, dehydration and a perforated lung – the result of ingesting the broken glass.
"When they opened the door, one of them said: 'Here's the water you've been asking for," Chong said. "But I was pretty out of it at the time."
Chong also ingested a white powder DEA agents said was left in the cell accidentally and later identified as methamphetamine.
The agency has not commented on Chong's claim that he was without basic necessities for days.
Chong's attorney, Eugene Iredale, said he planned to file a claim against the federal government, and if it was denied he will proceed with filing a federal lawsuit.
They must be gearing up for Occupy Wall Street season.