Police officer who handcuffed nurse and dragged her screaming from Utah hospital sacked from medic job

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A police officer who handcuffed a nurse and dragged her screaming from a hospital when she refused to take blood from an unconscious patient has been fired from his second job as a part-time medic.

Alex Wubbels and her lawyers released dramatic video of the arrest in Salt Lake City in the US last Friday. 

The patient, a male lorry driver, had been brought in unconscious after being involved in a head-on collision with a driver who was fleeing police. 

Medics sedated the truck driver, who was severely burned, and he arrived at the University Utah Hospital in a comatose state. 

Police body camera footage: Nurse Alex Wubbels is arrested for refusing to take a patient’s blood (AP)

Detective Jeff Payne had been sent to collect blood from the patient and check for any illicit substances, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

But Ms Wubbels, a former alpine skier who competed in the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics, refused to take the blood sample as the police officer did not have a warrant and the truck driver was not awake to consent. 

The police did not have a warrant, but Mr Payne insisted and the dispute ended with him saying, “we’re done, you’re under arrest” and pulling her outside while she screamed and said: “I’ve done nothing wrong.”

Nurse Ms Wubbels is forcibly removed from a hospital after refusing to take a patient’s blood for police (REUTERS)

Mr Payne wrote in a police report that he grabbed the nurse and took her outside to avoid causing a “scene” in the emergency room.

Mr Payne was sacked from his job at Gold Cross Ambulance service over comments he made while taking Ms Wubbels into custody on July 26 which were captured on his body camera, Gold Cross president Mike Moffitt told Reuters news agency.

The comments suggested that Mr Payne would bring transients to University of Utah Hospital, where Wubbels worked, while transporting “good” patients to another facility, Mr Moffitt said.

A still image taken from video footage of Ms Wubbels being arrested (AP)

“Those remarks are just not reflective of our company’s philosophy and the service we provide and because of that behavior we felt we had to separate ways,” he added. 

“His comments reflected poorly on the company and violated several company policies.”

Ms Wubbels followed hospital policy and advice from her bosses when she told Salt Lake City police Detective Jeff Payne that he could not get a blood sample without a warrant or consent from the patient (AP)

Reuters was not able to contact representatives for Mr Payne, who has been placed on administrative leave by the Salt Lake City Police Department over the incident.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said the video was concerning and urged the police chief to ask for a criminal investigation. 

Police spokeswoman Christina Judd said the department updated its blood-draw policy last week to mirror what the hospital uses, and officers have already received additional training.

The patient, William Gray, is a reserve police officer in Rigby, Idaho.


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