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Utah detective in blood sample fiasco who arrested nurse has been fired; supervisor demoted

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Michael Katz

The Idaho Statesman

A Salt Lake City police detective who made headlines after arresting a nurse who refused to let him take a blood sample from an unconscious Idaho car crash victim in July has been fired, KSL-TV reported Tuesday afternoon.

Jeff Payne came into the national spotlight in early September after video of him arresting Utah University Hospital nurse Alex Wubbels went viral. Wubbels rightly and lawfully refused to let Payne draw blood from William “Bill” Gray, a truck driver and reserve police officer with the Rigby Police Department who had been involved in a car wreck.

“I have lost faith and confidence in your ability to continue to serve as a member of the Salt Lake City Police Department,” Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown wrote to Payne recently in a letter obtained by KSL.

Lt. James Tracy, Payne’s supervisor who was involved in the arrest process, was demoted from lieutenant to officer, KSL reports.

Gray, 43, died from his injuries on Sept. 25.

Wubbels politely stood her ground against Payne in the video, explaining that it was illegal to draw blood from an unconscious patient unless a warrant was obtained. Payne then arrested Wubbels, shoved her out of the building and cuffed her hands behind her back. A bewildered Wubbels screamed “help me” and “you’re assaulting me” as the detective forced her into an unmarked car and accused her of interfering with an investigation.

She eventually was released by Payne and was not charged with anything.

Michael Katz: 208-377-6444, @MichaelLKatz

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©2017 The Idaho Statesman (Boise, Idaho)

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