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Video: Nurse Follows Hospital Rules, Gets Arrested

Alex Wubbels accuses Utah cop of illegally arresting and assaulting her
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2017 7:55 AM CDT

A Utah nurse is fighting back after she says she was assaulted and arrested for simply doing her job. Per the Salt Lake Tribune, Alex Wubbels was working at University of Utah Hospital on July 26 when she was asked by a Salt Lake City police detective to draw blood from an unconscious patient who'd been involved in a car crash that killed another person. In recently released video the Washington Post says was taken from police body cameras, Wubbels, the head nurse of the medical center's burn unit, is shown calmly explaining to the officer, identified as Detective Jeff Payne, that blood can't be drawn from a patient unless the patient is under arrest or gives consent, or if the police present a warrant. "I'm just trying to do what I'm supposed to do," she says.

Payne continues to press Wubbels on her refusal to allow blood to be drawn, at which point Wubbels' supervisor, who can be heard via speakerphone on Wubbels' phone, tells Payne, "You're making a huge mistake right now because you're threatening a nurse"—prompting Payne to lose patience and place Wubbels under arrest. "Somebody help me! … I've done nothing wrong!" Wubbels screams (the first time her composure breaks) as she's forced outside the hospital. Payne apparently believed he could collect the blood under an "implied consent" law, but Wubbels' lawyer tells the Post that law hasn't been in effect for years; the Supreme Court also ruled against warrantless blood tests in 2016. Wubbels, who wasn't criminally charged and who hasn't ruled out legal action, said at a Thursday presser: "I just feel betrayed, I feel angry ... and I'm still confused." (More Utah stories.)

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