BY JULIA MANCHESTER
A University of Utah nurse said she was assaulted and unlawfully arrested by Salt Lake City police officers in late July when she refused to let police take a blood sample from an unconscious crash victim who had been brought to the hospital.
Hospital and officer body camera footage shows nurse Alex Wubbels telling officers that it was against the hospital’s policy to take blood from an unconscious patient without a warrant, consent from the patient or if the patient has been under arrest.
The patient was a semitruck driver who had struck a car that was being pursued by state troopers.
“I either go away with blood in vials or body in tow,” Detective Jeff Payne told Wubbels, before telling her she is under arrest, grabbing her arms and handcuffing her as she screams for help.
While he is still on duty with the police department, Payne has been suspended from the department’s blood draw program, according to The Salt Like Tribune.
Payne said he was advised by his commander on duty to arrest the nurse for interfering with a police investigation, according to the Tribune.
“I can’t sit on this video and not attempt to speak out both to re-educate and inform,” Wubbels told the publication, adding that she never said no to Payne’s request to draw blood, but rather informed him of the blood draw policy.
Wubbels was not charged, and a lawsuit has not been filed.
The police department has launched an internal investigation.