Utah Nurse Alex Wubbels Dragged Into Police Car For Protecting Patient

Nurse arrested for refusing police orders to draw blood from an unconscious patient in disturbing body cam footage

The bodycam footage shows the police officer becoming irritable, and later aggressive, as Wubbels tries to explain that she couldn't withdraw blood from an unconscious patient because it was not hospital policy.

Footage from University Hospital and officer body cameras shows Wubbels saying that blood can not 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 hospital policy, in accordance with Utah law, is that blood can not be drawn unless a patient is under arrest, or there is a warrant allowing the draw, or the patient consents.

The screams from Wubbels are audible throughout the video as Payne attempts to seize her cell phone and place her under arrest.

A hospital supervisor, speaking through Wubbels' cellphone, tells the officers they are "making a huge mistake" in threatening a nurse. He then charges at her, roughly grabs her, and puts her in handcuffs. The only thing that happened to him was that he was temporarily suspended from the department's blood-draw program that teaches cops how to get blood samples.

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Wubbels was held there for about 20 minutes before Payne let her go.

In a written report, Payne claimed that he was advised by Lieutenant James Tracy, the watch commander on duty that night, to arrest Wubbels for interfering with police investigation if she refused to give him the sample.

She tells the officers that under the policy, which she says was agreed to by the Salt Lake City police department, she would need a warrant, the patient's consent, or the patient would need to be under arrest.

"It hurts to relive it", she told the Tribune.

But because the truck driver was not a suspect in the crash, and likely wouldn't face charges, Payne didn't have probable cause or a warrant to take the blood from the patient, who was in a coma.

"A blood draw, it just gets thrown around like it's some simple thing", Wubbles told Deseret News.

"This is insane", a visibly upset Wubbels screams.

"This was not peaceful", Wubbels said. TFTP salutes nurse Wubbels for her bravery in the face of tyranny.

Karra Porter, Wubbels' attorney, said the incident was unlawful.

"Then walk!" the officer responds. The hospital said it had also created a new policy with police that would preclude officers from arriving at patient care units in person for blood.

"I was just trying to do it the right way", Wubbels said. "I've done nothing wrong".

Wubbels has not filed any civil action against the police agencies involved.

Before she was a nurse, Wubbels was an Olympic athlete, competing in the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics when her name was Alex Shaffer.

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