Footage of an awful scene has emerged out of a hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah after a nurse refused to draw blood from an unconscious patient.
Alex Wubbles, a nurse at university was arrested and forcefully dragged to a police car by Detective Jeff Payne when a stand-off over a patient did not go according to Payne's wishes.
Body cam footage from the incident has been going viral, and it's not looking good for the officer. The footage shows Wubbles refusing to approve a blood sample from an unconscious patient on the grounds that he cannot give consent. She tells the officer he must provide a warrant in order to get the sample. Detective Payne acknowledges there's no warrant, but still doesn't listen to Nurse Wubbles and the hospital official on speakerphone.
Detective Payne then starts to get agitated, saying "I either go away with blood in vials or body in tow."
The patient in question was involved in a car accident which left one other person dead, so police wanted a sample of the patient's blood to see if he was under the influence of any illicit substances. Detective Payne cited "implied consent," a law in Utah which previously allowed officers to draw the blood of patients. This law has not been in practice since 2007.
Multiple hospital officials are consulted as Wubbles holds her ground, but eventually Detective Payne gets fed-up and grabs the nurse, yelling "You're under arrest! We're done!"
In the unsettling video, you can hear Wubbles yelling “Help! Help! Somebody help me! Stop! Stop! I did nothing wrong!”
Wubbles is dragged to the police car, where she claims the officer is hurting her. He says "Then walk!" to which Wubbles replies "NO! I have no reason to walk."
The footage then ends with Payne talking with another officer, wondering how this will affect his off-duty job of transporting patients for an ambulance company.
“I’ll bring them all the transients and take good patients elsewhere,” Payne says.
Now, after the footage has gone viral, the police department has finally responded to the incident.
Detective Payne says he was advised by Lt. James Tracy, the watch commander on duty that night, to arrest Wubbels after refusing to allow him to get a blood sample. Tracy says he spoke to Wubbels on the phone and told her about implied consent, but she cut him off and demanded a warrant. According to Tracy's report, "she appeared to not want to hear my explanation."
Payne was taken off the blood-draw program in the department, but he still remains on duty while an internal investigation is conducted.
Now, the Salt Lake City mayor and police chief are both apologizing to Nurse Wubbels for the ordeal.
Police Chief Mike Brown said in a statement, “I was alarmed by what I saw in the video with our officer and Ms. [Alex] Wubbles. I am sad at the rift this has caused between law-enforcement and the nurses we work so closely with. I want to be clear, we take this very seriously.
We’ve looked at the actions that took place, the policies that could have prevented it,and the training that must be done. Within 24 hours of this incident, Salt Lake City Police Department took steps to ensure this will never happen again... we apologized for the incident and promised to find a solution. Additionally, our policy management team continues to work closely with the hospital staff on improved policies and training.”
Mayor Jack Biskupski also released a statement, saying:
“Like many of you, I watched the video of police officers interacting with University of Utah Medical Center nurse Alex Wubbles for the first time through the media late yesterday. What I saw is completely unacceptable to the values of my Administration and of the values of the Salt Lake City Police Department. I extend a personal apology to Ms. Wubbles for what she has been through for simply doing her job.
There is currently an Internal Affairs investigation examining the actions, and the Civilian Review Board is conducting a parallel investigation. I have reiterated to Chief Brown that I expect the highest level of professionalism and integrity from his team. I have also instructed Chief Brown to conduct a thorough review of all policies and trainings to ensure respect for all individuals, in all situations.Following the incident Salt Lake City Police Department command met with hospital administration. We immediately changed policies that may have been a factor in this encounter, and the officer’s duties have been modified."
Alex Wubbels has hired a lawyer, though no claim or lawsuit has been filed yet.
Take a look a the video and see for yourself who is in the wrong.