All the signs pointed in defense of nurse Alex Wubbels. Based on hospital policy and constitutional law, the Salt Lake City detective did not have a warrant, and the unconscious patient could not give consent to a blood test. Still, detective Jeff Payne remained obstinate.
Wubbles maintained her decorum and got her supervisor on the phone, who confirmed, "Sir, you’re making a huge mistake because you’re threatening a nurse.”
ForPayne, the insubordination bruised his ego. "I'm doing what I’m being told by my boss, and I'm going to do what my boss says," he said.
What followed next took on the appearance of a hostile drug lord being apprehended, when it was anything but. The detective illegally subjected Wubbles to handcuffs and manhandled the terrified nurse out of the hospital and forced her into police vehicle as she cried out, "Help! Help! Somebody help me! Stop! Stop! I did nothing wrong! You're assaulting me!"
The scuffle was being filmed by an attending officer's body camera, while other members of the police department aided in the arrest without any intervention.
The incident is under investigation by the police department.
According to Payne, he responded to a request by Logan Police to obtain a blood sample from a driver who suffered injuries in a head-on collision to determine if there were any illegal substances in his system. Payne said he was only trying to protect the comatose patient, who was not suspected of any crime.
No lawsuit has been filed, but the release of the video will address the prevalent issue of hospital workers being bullied by authorities.
Alex Wubbels later told NBC, "I was being bullied and nobody was willing to speak up for me. That is one of the main points of this whole issue."
"And I am still confused," she added. "I'm a health care worker. The only job I have is to keep my patients safe."
Wubbels isn't ruling out taking legal action in the future. “I want to see people do the right thing first and I want to see this be a civil discourse,” she told Deseret News. “If that’s not something that’s going to happen and there is refusal to acknowledge the need for growth and the need for re-education, then we will likely be forced to take that type of step. But people need to know that this is out there.”
Payne got off with a slap on the wrist by a suspension from the blood draw unit, but he still remains on active duty.