A nurse in Utah was forcibly arrested after she refused to draw blood from an unconscious patient, screaming “I’ve done nothing wrong” as an officer dragged her out of a hospital.Video footage of the interaction between nurse Alex Wubbels and Salt Lake City police Detective Jeff Payne on July 26 at University Hospital in Salt Lake City shows the nurse calmly explaining to the detective that blood cannot be taken without a warrant from an unconscious patient unless he or she consents or that individual has been arrested.
“This is something that you guys agreed to with this hospital,” Wubbels says while showing Payne the policy in writing. “The three things that allow us to do that are if you have electronic warrant, patient consent or patient under arrest … and neither of those things … the patient can’t consent, he told me repeatedly that he doesn’t have a warrant and the patient is not under arrest. So, I’m just trying to do what I’m supposed to do, that’s all.”
A 2-minute video of the interaction then cuts to Wubbels holding a phone, as a man’s voice warns that a “huge mistake” is being made by threatening a nurse. That sets off Payne, who then places Wubbels in handcuffs and leads her out of the hospital as the woman shrieks in agony.
“OK, no, we’re done, we’re done — you’re under arrest,” Payne says. “We’re going, we’re done, we’re done, I said we’re done!”
“You can’t put me under arrest, this is not OK,” Wubbels says while backpedaling before being led out of the hospital. “Somebody help me. Stop! You’re assaulting me, stop! Stop — I’ve done nothing wrong!”
Two hospital officials then try to intervene, but Payne warns them not to interfere or they will be arrested as well.
“I’m leaving now — with her — anybody who wants to prevent that, that’s your option,” Payne says. “So, take your hand off her, please.”
Payne then leads Wubbels to a waiting police vehicle as the woman claims the officer is hurting her.
“Then walk!” the officer responds.
“What is going on?” Wubbels tearfully asks another employee at the hospital.
Parts of the footage were shown Thursday during a news conference held by attorney Karra Porter, who is representing Wubbels, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. Wubbels, who was not charged, told the newspaper that she’s watched the footage about five times.
“It hurts to relive it,” she said.
Hospital officials, meanwhile, said they supported Wubbels’ actions.
“She followed procedures and protocols in this matter and was acting in her patient’s best interest,” according to a statement obtained by The Post. “We have worked with our law enforcement partners on this issue to ensure an appropriate process for moving forward.“
No notice of claim or lawsuit had been filed as of Thursday, but Porter had discussions with the department, which will provide better training to its officers, she said.
Payne, meanwhile, has been suspended from the department’s blood-draw program, but remains on duty as an investigation is conducted, Salt Lake City police Sgt. Brandon Shearer told the Salt Lake Tribune.