update: Detective Jeff Payne has been fired from his job as a part-time paramedic.
Payne’s actions ”violated several company policies and left a poor image of the company,” Gold Cross President Mike Moffitt said in an interview. ”We determined today it was best to part ways.”
The University of Utah Hospital has imposed new restrictions on law enforcement, including barring officers from patient-care areas and from direct contact with nurses.
Logan Police Chief Gary Jensen said that Payne was told not to worry about obtaining blood from an unconscious car crash victim in the hospital, but tried anyway
Utah police reveal patient defended by ‘heroic’ nurse was an officer.
An Idaho police department on Friday revealed that the patient in a Utah hospital is one of its reserve officers and thanked the “heroic” nurse who informed law enforcement that it was against hospital policy to draw blood from an unconscious patient without a warrant.
The Rigby Police Department in a statement on Facebook identified the patient as William Gray, one of its reserve officers. Rigby is a city in southeast Idaho
The facebook post:
Press Release 2017-05
September 1, 2017
On July 26th of this year, one of our reserve officers, William Gray was the victim in a horrific accident in northern Utah while working his full-time job as a truck driver.
The suspect in this incident was fleeing from Utah State Highway Patrol, when he crossed into oncoming traffic and collided head on with Gray’s truck, severely injuring Gray, and killing himself. Officer Gray was flown to the University of Utah’s burn unit where he remains under their watchful, professional, and competent care.
Within the first hours of Officer Gray being admitted into the burn unit, an incident occurred between hospital staff and an officer from an agency in Utah who was assisting with the investigation. The Rigby Police Department was not aware of this incident until August 31st, 2017.
The Rigby Police Department would like to thank the nurse involved and hospital staff for standing firm, and protecting Officer Gray’s rights as a patient and victim. Protecting the rights of others is truly a heroic act.
The Rigby Police Department would also like to acknowledge the hard work of the involved agencies, and trusts that this unfortunate incident will be investigated thoroughly, and appropriate action will be taken.
It is important to remember that Officer Gray is the victim in this horrible event, and that at no time was he under any suspicion of wrongdoing. As he continues to heal, we would ask that his family be given privacy, respect, and prayers for continued recovery and peace.
Video shows Utah nurse screaming, being handcuffed after refusing to take blood from unconscious victim
Footage from University Hospital and officer body cameras shows Detective Jeff Payne and nurse Alex Wubbels in a standoff over whether the policeman should be allowed to get a blood sample from a patient who had been injured in a collision in northern Utah that left another driver dead.
It all started when a suspect speeding away from police in a pickup truck on a local highway smashed head-on into a truck driver, as local media reported.
Medics sedated the truck driver, who was severely burned, and took him to the University of Utah Hospital. He arrived in a comatose state, according to the Deseret News. The suspect died in the crash.
A neighboring police department sent Payne, a trained police phlebotomist, to collect blood from the patient and check for illicit substances, as the Tribune reported.
The goal was reportedly to protect the trucker, who was not suspected of a crime. His lieutenant ordered him to arrest Wubbels if she refused to let him draw a sample.
A separeate video from the body camera of a fellow officer shows the bitter argument that unfolded on the floor of the hospital’s burn unit.
A group of hospital officials, security guards and nurses are seen pacing nervously in the ward. Payne can be seen standing in a doorway, arms folded over his black polo shirt, waiting as hospital officials talk on the phone.
“So why don’t we just write a search warrant,” the officer wearing the body camera says to Payne.
“They don’t have PC,” Payne responds, using the abbreviation for probable cause, which police must have to get a warrant for search and seizure. He adds that he plans to arrest the nurse if she doesn’t allow him to draw blood. “I’ve never gone this far,” he says.
The detective didn’t have a warrant, first off. And the patient wasn’t conscious, so he couldn’t give consent. Without that, the detective was barred from collecting blood samples — not just by hospital policy, but by basic constitutional law.
Still, Detective Jeff Payne insisted that he be let in to take the blood, saying the nurse would be arrested and charged if she refused.
After several minutes, Wubbels shows Payne and the other officer a printout of the hospital’s policy on obtaining blood samples from patients. With her supervisor on speakerphone, she calmly tells them they can’t proceed unless they have a warrant or patient consent, or if the patient is under arrest.
“The patient can’t consent, he’s told me repeatedly that he doesn’t have a warrant, and the patient is not under arrest,” she says. “So I’m just trying to do what I’m supposed to do, that’s all.”
“So I take it without those in place, I’m not going to get blood,” Payne says.
Wubbels’s supervisor chimes in on the speakerphone. “Why are you blaming the messenger,” he asks Payne.
“She’s the one that has told me no,” the officer responds.
“Sir, you’re making a huge mistake because you’re threatening a nurse,” Wubbels’s supervisor says over the phone.
At that point, Payne seems to lose it.
He paces toward the nurse and tries to swat the phone out of her hand. “We’re done here,” he yells. He grabs Wubbels by the arms and shoves her through the automatic doors outside the building.
Wubbels screams. “Help! Help me! Stop! You’re assaulting me! Stop! I’ve done nothing wrong! This is crazy!”
Payne presses her into a wall, pulls her arms behind her back and handcuffs her.
Two hospital officials tell him to stop, that she’s doing her job, but he ignores them.
“I can’t believe this! What is happening?” Wubbels says through tears as the detective straps her into the front seat of his car.
Another officer arrives and tells her she should have allowed Payne to collect the samples he asked for. He says she obstructed justice and prevented Payne from doing his job.
“I’m also obligated to my patients,” she tells the officer. “It’s not up to me.”
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said he wanted a criminal investigation into the incident. Salt Lake Mayor Jackie Biskupski apologized to the nurse in a statement “I extend a personal apology to Ms. Wubbels for what she has been through for simply doing her job.”
The officer is now on paid leave.
For now, Wubbels is not taking any legal action against police. But she’s not ruling it out.