Police chief thanks nurse for protecting officer's rights after nurse's arrest

Posted at 5:44 PM, Sep 02, 2017

On Friday, video of an incident inside a Utah hospital went viral showing a nurse getting arrested after she refused and officer's request to draw blood from one of the hospital's patients without consent or a warrant. 

Later on Friday, the patient's boss, who is the police chief of Rigby, Idaho Police, wanted to tell nurse Alex Wubbels "thanks" for protecting the rights of one of his reserve officers. 

In the video, Salt Lake City Officer Jeff Payne is demanding a blood sample from William Gray, who is a reserve police officer in Idaho who was involved in an accident in Utah. Wubbels, who is on the phone with an apparent supervisor, is shown telling Payne she can't give him blood unless the patient is under arrest, the officer has a warrant or the patient gives consent.

Payne is shown acknowledging that none of these situations is the case.

Even though the policy was jointly agreed upon between the hospital and police, Payne placed Wubbels in handcuffs for not complying with his orders. 

Gray, who was working his other job as a trucker, was struck by a car during a police chase. Payne claimed that he wanted a sample of Gray's blood to clear him of any wrongdoing. 

Regardless, Gray is not the suspect of any crime, and police would not have been able to establish probable cause to get a warrant. 

"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," Rigby Police Chief Sam Tower said. "Protecting the rights of others is truly a heroic act."

Tower said that he did not learn of the July 26 incident until Thursday. 

"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," Tower said in the statement.

Payne, and a second unidentified officer, have been placed on administrative leave pending a complete investigation.