Nurse Alex Wubbels refused a cop’s request that she draw blood from someone involved in car wreck, citing a hospital policy concerning the rights of unconscious patients. So Salt Lake City Detective Jeff Payne arrested her. Video of the confrontation has gone viral.
In a viral-video case attracting national attention, a nurse says she was assaulted and illegally arrested by a Salt Lake City police detective for following a hospital policy that does not allow blood draws from unconscious patients, reports the Salt Lake Tribune. Footage from University Hospital and officer body cameras shows Detective Jeff Payne and nurse Alex Wubbels in a standoff over whether the policeman should be allowed to get a blood sample from a patient who had been injured in a July 26 collision in northern Utah that left another driver dead. Wubbels says blood cannot be taken from an unconscious patient unless the patient is under arrest, unless there is a warrant allowing the draw or unless the patient consents. The detective acknowledges in the footage that none of those requirements is in place, but he insists that he has the authority to obtain the draw.
At one point, Payne threatens to take Wubbels to jail if he doesn’t get the sample, and he accuses her of interfering with a criminal case. “I either go away with blood in vials or body in tow,” Payne says. After Wubbels consults with several hospital officials and repeats the policy, Payne tells her she is under arrest and grabs her, pulling her arms behind her back and handcuffing her. The footage shows the detective dragging Wubbels out of the hospital and putting her inside a patrol car as she screams, “Help! Help! Somebody help me! Stop! Stop! I did nothing wrong!” Parts of the footage were shown Thursday at a news conference at the office of Karra Porter, a Salt Lake City attorney representing Wubbels.