Nurse Alex Shaffer Wubbels’ has become an instant celebrity of sorts. The female nurse at the University of Utah Hospital’s faceoff with a Salt Lake City Police detective is being called heroic. The 41-year old nurse not just showed exemplary courage in the face of coercion but also proved her loyalty to her patients.
Detective Jeff Payne wanted the nurse to take a blood sample of an unconscious patient. The nurse said that she cannot do it as it was against the policy of her hospital and she cannot draw blood without expressed agreement of the patient. The answer infuriated the detective so much that he, despite repeated advises of restraints from his colleague, manhandled the woman, handcuffed and finally arrested her.
It is an altogether different matter that the nurse was released within twenty minutes of being taken to a police station under intense attack from common citizens and human rights proponents.
Reports suggest that Jeff Payne was trying to get a blood sample from William Gray, a man who had been injured in an accident caused by a suspect named Marcos Torres. Cops had been chasing Torres when he crashed into Gray’s truck. Torres was killed while Gray was seriously injured. After being taken to the hospital for treatment, Gray was sedated.
Latest reports suggest that a video has surfaced showing as to what actually happened on 26 July. Utah police officer’s body camera video shows a hospital nurse being handcuffed after refusing a blood draw from an unconscious patient. The video taken on July 26 shows nurse Alex Wubbels calmly explaining to Salt Lake detective Jeff Payne that she cannot do a blood draw on a patient who had been injured in a car accident. She told the officer a patient was required to give consent for a blood sample or be under arrest. Otherwise, she said police needed a warrant. She told him that this was a general practice and she cannot go against it.
Her co-workers and even hospital bosses were in complete support of him. The footage shows a hospital office telling the detective “Sir you are making a huge mistake right now because you are threatening a nurse.” Nonetheless it couldn’t dissuade Payne from arresting her. He can be heard saying, “We are done, we are done, you are under arrest.”
In the video that has come forward as incriminating evidence against the detective, Payne’s partner could be heard trying to calm his partner down during the arrest. Another officer is heard saying, “I don’t think this arrest is going to stick.” Reports suggest that a hospital security camera also captured parts of the incident.
Meanwhile Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski looked really concerned following the incident. Biskupski has assured that there will be a criminal investigation by the Salt Lake City police department and the district attorney. As a result of the criminal investigation, the officer is being placed on full administrative leave.
She competed in the 90s and 2000s as an alpine skier under her maiden name of Shaffer. In 2003, the Sky World Cup came to Wubbels’ hometown. According to Sports Reference, Wubbels greatest Olympic achievement was coming sixth in the 1998 Winter women’s alpine event. Wubbels attended the prestigious Rowland Hall prep school in Utah. The school’s ski team train at the Park City, Utah, Olympic facility.