Update: Officer Involved In Utah Nurse Arrest Fired

    The Utah police officer seen on video roughly arresting a nurse who refused to draw blood from a patient was fired Tuesday from his part-time paramedic job.

    Salt Lake City Detective Jeff Payne's termination came after he said on the video that he'd bring transient patients to the hospital and take the "good patients" elsewhere to retaliate against nurse Alex Wubbels.

    Those remarks were concerning for Gold Cross Ambulance President Mike Moffitt, who said he'd heard them for the first time when the video was released last week.

    "That's not the way we conduct our business, that's not the way we treat people in our city," Moffitt said.

    Wubbels was following hospital policy when she refused on July 26 to let Payne take blood without a warrant or formal consent from the patient who was unconscious in the hospital burn unit.

    He had been in a car accident that started with a police chase. Payne maintained in his report that he wanted the blood sample to protect the man rather than prosecute him.

    There were no answers Tuesday at publicly listed phone numbers for Payne. The Salt Lake police union didn't immediately return messages seeking comment

    Police body-camera video shows Wubbels calmly explaining that she could not allow a blood draw from a patient who hadn't been arrested or consented, unless police had a warrant. They did not, but Payne insisted and put her on the phone with his lieutenant who said she would be arrested if she didn't agree.

    The dispute ended with Payne handcuffing Wubbels and dragging her outside while she screamed and said, "I've done nothing wrong!"

    Her lawyer, Karra Porter, said she can understand ambulance company would be troubled by his comments and the decision to let him go wasn't surprising.

    Payne was put on paid leave by Salt Lake City police after the video emerged. A second officer was also put on leave after authorities opened a criminal investigation into the arrest.

    The other officer has not been identified. Police have said the lieutenant's actions are also under review.

    Payne joined Salt Lake City police more than 20 years ago and worked for Gold Cross as an EMT and paramedic since 1983. He was generally a hardworking, conscientious employee who followed the rules, so his behavior on the video was shocking, Moffitt said.

    Gold Cross is a private company that contracts with Salt Lake City to respond to medical calls in the city.

    Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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    Roger G.

    I side with the nurse. I am registered nurse and the police officer was “out of line”. The nurse was following hospital policy and the nurse works for the hospital. I’m sure the patient had blood taken anyway and the police officer could have obtained a warrant in a different manner to secure “blood testing” afterwards from the samples afterwards. What the police officer did against the nurse was “JUST WRONG” and he acted in a “BULLY” manner towards her.

    Karen

    I had hoped that this detective would have not only been terminated from his part time job as paramedic but at least demoted with a pay cut in law enforcement and also, have to take some continuing education specifically regarding laws in healthcare..patient rights, etc. This tragic incident should have never happened. She knew what she was talking about and he did not. She called her superior and he had the chance to do the same for clarification, he did not. Standing behind the badge and gun does not necessarily make you wise and act with common sense. I am… Read more »

    Julie W

    The lieutenant also needs to be fired!

    Michelle

    He should be fired and arrested for abuse of power and never allowed to have a badge again and he should pay restitution to the nurse and if the police force can ignore and brush off that conduct they should be sued also that’s wrong unprofessional and abusive behavior and if the dept can excuse that behavior they should all turn in the badges clarifying anyone involved in that type of decision

    Ferlin Blood

    I have been a nurse for over 25 years and I also hold a Class A CDL license which I understand the unconscious patient did too. I am not sure that the laws are any different in Utah than they are here in Texas because generally Trucking laws are federal not state. Having said that, I want to be clear that I am not endorsing the rough Behavior or anything else but it would appear that the police department, this man’s supervisor spoke with a nurse and informed her that she must allow the blood draw or be arrested so… Read more »

    Meg Spencer

    As a 40 year veteran nurse it is saddening that this officer showed such little respect for this nurse. We work very closely with our police department and have a wonderful working relationship and respect for each other in NC. Both professions have hard and thankless jobs. I pray one poor decision on this officers part does not influence others in what has been for years respect and admiration for each other’s profession!