(Audio begins at 30 seconds, arrest at 6:45 mark)
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Aug. 31, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — The nursing community is outraged, the Salt Lake City Police Department has launched an internal investigation, and a Facebook page is inviting people to express their thoughts on the arrest of nurse Alex Wubbels for refusing to allow a police officer to take blood samples from an unconscious patient.
Hospital and police body cam video of the July 26 incident came to light Thursday.
The incident kicked off when SLCPD Detective Jeff Payne went to University of Utah Hospital with the intention of drawing blood samples from a patient on the burn unit who had been injured in a horrific crash on Highway 89/91 in Cache County.
Payne reportedly said later that he was acting at the behest of Logan City Police.
Nurse Wubbels, who was on duty when Payne sought access to the patient, informed him that policy prohibits him from taking blood from an unconscious patient unless he has a warrant, the patient is under arrest or the patient has given consent.
The video shows Wubbels on her cellphone, checking with hospital officials. She shows Payne a printed copy of the policy, and Payne continues to insist that he has the authority to take the blood samples. He then takes hold of Wubbels, tells her she’s under arrest, and forces her into handcuffs while she shrieks and says, “I haven’t done anything!”
Wubbels was put into the police car, but was released after several minutes. No charges were ever filed against her.
Payne said he was told by the watch commander that night to arrest Wubbels for interfering with the investigation. The police believed that they had “implied consent,” under Utah’s driving and DUI laws, to draw the blood samples to determine if the patient had been driving under the influence.
The crash occurred July 26 after Utah Highway Patrol troopers tried to make a traffic stop on a pickup truck that was being driven erratically. Instead of stopping, the truck continued at high speed, changing direction several times and ultimately driving head-on into a semi-truck loaded with sand.
The semi-truck caught fire, and its driver was transported first to the hospital in Logan and then was air-lifted to University of Utah Hospital.
The driver of the pickup truck died at the scene.
Logan City Police responded to the crash.