A Salt Lake City detective’s arrest of a nurse for refusing to take blood from an unconscious patient sparked national outrage when police bodycam footage of the tense encounter spread online.
Alex Wubbels was handcuffed and placed in a police car when she wouldn’t allow police officers to obtain a blood sample from a crash victim in the University of Utah Hospital’s burn unit.
The patient at the center of the widely seen video footage, Bill Gray, died Monday night, the Rigby, Idaho, Police Department said on its Facebook page. Gray was a reserve officer for the Rigby police.
A full-time truck driver, Gray was admitted to the hospital’s burn unit in a coma after a suspect swerved into his truck July 26 while fleeing from the Utah State Highway Patrol. The accident left 46% percent of his body burned, according to the Facebook post.
While Gray was not a suspect in the crash, police asked for his blood to be drawn. Wubbels, the burn unit’s charge nurse, denied the request and gave officers a copy of hospital policy requiring police to obtain a judge’s order or the patient’s consent, or to arrest the patient.
In the police video, Detective Jeff Payne quickly walks over to Wubbels after her refusal. She screams for him to stop as he forces her out of the door and drags her to a police car.
“I’ve done nothing wrong! I’ve done nothing wrong! Why is this happening? This is crazy,” she says in the video as she is led away.
Minutes later, she was released without being charged.
Salt Lake City’s mayor, City Council and police later apologized to Wubbels.
Police placed Payne and another officer on administrative leave pending the results of an internal investigation.
In the Facebook post, Rigby police called Gray “a man of selfless service” who was dedicated “to not only his family but those in his community.”