Police officer who dragged nurse screaming from hospital over blood sample could face criminal charges

A detective may face criminal charges after he arrested a nurse who refused to take a blood sample from an unconscious patient during a stand-off that lasted several minutes, prosecutors say.

Alex Wubbels told police officer Jeff Payne she could not comply with his order to take blood from the victim of a crash because he could not consent, and the officer failed to produce a warrant.

Footage from Mr Payne’s body camera shows him threaten Ms Wubbels with jail unless she gives into his demand, despite her bosses having confirmed the policy while he listened in.

But Detective Payne cited a now-outdated “implied consent” law, it was said, which he believed gave him the right to order the nurse to take the blood sample.

Ms Wubbels, a former Winter Olympian, stood her ground and the video moments later shows her being dragged from the hospital to a police car, screaming: “Somebody help me! Stop! I did nothing wrong! This is crazy. This is crazy. Why is he so angry?”

She added: “I did nothing wrong! This is unnecessary.” Ms Wubbels was held in the car for 20 minutes in the stand-off on 26 July but later released without charge.

The video of the fracas in University of Utah Medical Centre, in Salt Lake City, triggered public outrage. Prosecutors called for a criminal investigation and Detective Payne was put on paid leave.

Detective Payne had demanded that Ms Wubbels take a blood sample from the patient after he was injured by the driver of a vehicle being pursued by Utah Highway Patrol.

The video shows Ms Wubbels phone her superiors who confirm the policy that she could not comply with the officer’s orders because the patient was unconscious and the officer had no court order.

Ms Wubbels, a former alpine skiier who competed in the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics, has insisted she will not press charges against Detective Payne but released the video of her wrongful arrest in the hope it will change how police officers act in future.

She said: “This cop bullied me. He bullied me to the utmost extreme. And nobody stood in his way.”

Salt Lake City police chief Mike Brown apologised to Ms Wubbels and said changes had been made to police blood policies and officer training.

He also supported district attorney Sam Gill’s calls for a criminal investigation into Detective Payne’s actions.

He said: “We will do what is necessary to fully investigate the issue, uphold the integrity of the Salt Lake City Police Department, and strengthen the trust with our…

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