Police in Utah have revealed the patient whose blood a nurse refused to let a police officer draw without consent was, in fact, an officer himself.
Footage of the incident, in which University Hospital nurse Alex Wubbels was placed under arrest by Officer Jeff Payne for refusing to draw the blood of an unconscious patient who had been in a car accident, went viral last week.
Video shared by The Salt Lake Tribune shows Wubbels being arrested, handcuffed and taken to a squad car after correctly telling Payne she was not allowed to draw the blood without consent. She was later released without charge.
But since the footage went viral, it has emerged that the patient whose blood Officer Payne was intent on drawing was also a member of law enforcement, Officer William Gray of Rigby Police Department.
Posting on its Facebook page, Rigby Police Department issued an open thank you to nurse Wubbels for protecting their officer.
“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 department’s post said.
The department also explained how Gray came to be in the hospital, stating: “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,” the post added.
Wubbels has since spoken out about the arrest, which took place at the end of July, telling the Associated Press: ‘This cop bullied me. He bullied me to the utmost extreme and nobody stood in his way."
She has since been offered an apology from Salt Lake City Police Department, while Officer Payne has been removed from the blood draw program and placed on paid leave.