SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - We’re learning more about the patient at the center of the shocking arrest of a Utah nurse and accompanying viral video.
University of Utah Hospital Burn Unit nurse Alex Wubbels was arrested while on duty after refusing to fulfill a police blood draw request.
“The patient arrived to our hospital intubated and sedated so he was not able to consent,” said Wubbles in a news conference Thursday.
When Wubbels refused to take the blood sample, she cited company policy. The officer wanted to have the patient’s blood drawn, but Wobbles says the officer instead would have to either suspect the patient of a crime and arrest them or get a signed order from a judge. That’s when she says the officer became physical. Wubbels was dragged out of the hospital and arrested.
The patient in question is a reserve police officer in Idaho. William Gray with the Rigby Police Department was in an explosive crash in Cache County in July. At the time, Gray was working his full-time job as a truck driver.
A suspect fleeing Utah Highway Patrol troopers caused a head-on collision with Gray’s semi-truck. He was severely injured and flown to University of Utah Hospital's Burn Unit.
Upon hearing about the altercation between the arresting officer and Wubbels, Rigby police released the following statement:
“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.”
After the video was released and widely shared, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill called for a criminal investigation into the incident. As result of the investigation, two Salt Lake City Police Department employees were placed on administrative leave.
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