A two time national alpine ski champion who is now a nurse was violently arrested by cops in Utah after she refused to allow cops to draw blood from an unconscious patient. Alex Wubbels, who competed under her maiden name at the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics, was taken into custody at University Hospital in Salt Lake City on July 26 by Detective Jeff Payne.
Det. Payne was trying to get a blood sample from William Gray, a man who had been injured in an accident caused by a suspect named Marcos Torres. Cops had been chasing Torres when he crashed into Gray’s truck. Torres was killed while Gray was seriously injured.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Wubbels Can Be Heard Shouting ‘Help Me’ & ‘You’re Assaulting Me’ in the Video
During the ordeal, you can clearly hear Wubbels yelling, “Help me” and “You’re assaulting me.” Det. Payne tells Wubbels, “I either go away with blood vials or body in tow.” While Wubbels talks to some hospital administrators, she refuses to allow Det. Payne take the simpale.
Then, Det. Payne grabs Wubbels, puts her arms behind her back and drags her out of the hospital. Wubbels screams, “Help! Help! Somebody help me! Stop! Stope! I did nothing wrong.”
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that a University of Utah cop and Department of Public Safety officers were present during the arrest but “did not intervene.”
The video of the arrest was shown to the public on August 31 at a press conference held by Wubbels and her attorney Karra Porter. Wubbels has no plans to sue the department but said in the conference that she hops the video will change policy. Wubbels said, “I can’t sit on this video and not attempt to speak out to re-educate and inform… [Departments] need to be having conversations about what is appropriate intervention.”
2. Det. Payne Has Been Taken Off Blood Sample Duty
According to Salt Lake police Sgt. Brandon Shearer, an internal investigation into the arrest is underway, reports the Tribune. The newspaper adds in their report that Det. Payne has been taken off of the department’s blood draw unit but remains active on the force.
The Tribune report says that Det. Payne wrote a report on the incident explaining that he was responding to a request from the Logan Police Department to extract the blood. The report read that “[Wubbels’] policies won’t allow me to obtain the blood sample without a warrant.”
3. Wubbels Is Married to a Fellow Celebrated Skier
Wubbels, a native of Aspen, Colorado, is married to fellow celebrated skier Cory Wubbels.
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4. A Go Fund Me Page Has Been Set Up to Help William Gray
Det. Payne said in his report that his desire to extract the sample was in order to protect Gray, reports the Tribune. A Go Fund Me page has been set up for Gray’s family.
5. The Supreme Court Says Cops Need Probable Cause to Take Blood From Drivers
The U.S. Supreme Court has said that warrantless blood tests are unconstitutional while warrantless breath tests are still permitted. Det. Payne wrote in his report that he felt he had “implied consent” in the case. Although that has not been a law in Utah since 2007.
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