Detective Jeff Payne Fired For Arrest Of Utah Nurse

Nurse Alex Wubbels released video of her dramatic arrest in a Salt Lake hospital after she refused to give police blood work.

Nurse Alex Wubbels was arrested by Detective Jeff Payne on the order of his lieutenant.

Detective Jeff Payne Fired For Arrest Of Nurse Alex Wubbels

Salt Lake City, UT – Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown made a decision on Tuesday to fire Detective Jeff Payne for the arrest of nurse Alex Wubbels on July 26.

An investigation determined that nurse Wubbels was unlawfully arrested after Detective Payne was ordered by Lt. James Tracy to arrest Wubbels if she failed to co-operate with a blood draw.

It became apparent that neither Detective Payne or Lt. Tracy were familiar with current case law concerning blood draws based on implied consent.

Chief Mike Brown has yet to offer any explanation to why he failed to ensure that his officers were properly trained on current case law.

Lt. Tracy was demoted to officer for ordering the unlawful arrest.

Detective Payne’s attorney said that Detective Payne had served for 27 years and questioned if the incident warranted termination. The detective had previously received commendations for solving burglary cases and being shot in the shoulder during a traffic stop in 1998, according to Star Tribune.

He had also been previously disciplined for sexually harassing a female co-worker.

The initial incident happened on July 26 at around 2 PM when a Utah Highway Patrol officer was in pursuit of a pickup truck on ST 89/91 near Sardine Canyon, according to Salt Lake Tribune.

While fleeing, the pickup truck crashed into a semi-truck head-on, causing an explosion.

The pickup driver, Marcos Torres, 26, died on scene. The semi driver, William Gray, exited his vehicle while he was on fire. He was transported to University Hospital in Salt Lake City for treatment. Gray was a reserve officer from Idaho and he later died from his injuries.

You can see video of the crash below:

Any time there is a collision resulting in death, it’s normal to determine if anybody involved was impaired. Because Gray was transported to Salt Lake City, Logan police officers on scene asked Salt Lake police to obtain a blood sample from Gray.

Salt Lake Detective Jeff Payne, a trained phlebotomist, responded to obtain a blood sample from Gray, but Gray was unconscious.

Nurse Alex Wubbels told Payne that an agreement between the hospital and police department does not allow for a warrantless blood draw without patient consent or without the patient being under arrest.

Detective Payne consulted with the watch commander, Lt. James Tracy, who told him to arrest Wubbels for interfering with the investigation if she didn’t allow him to draw blood from Gray.

Wubbels went over the policy with the detective again, and Detective Payne arrested Wubbels. Bodycam video of the incident shows the arrest.

Wubbels was later released without charges and the police department has launched an internal investigation.

You can see the video of the arrest below:

Breath samples and blood draws are technically a “search” and governed under 4th Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure. A person is being searched when their blood is drawn, and then their blood is being searched to obtain evidence of impairment.

In 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (Birchfield v North Dakota) that while breath samples were minimally invasive and did not require a warrant, blood samples did require a warrant.

Prior to the case in 2016, there was no clear guidance to law enforcement which said that blood draws required warrants, and warrantless blood draws could have been legal under a search incident to arrest or implied consent laws.

Neither Detective Jeff Payne or Lt. James Tracy appeared familiar with the change in case law.

Because the search was unlawful, nurse Wubbels could not have committed a crime by “interfering” with it.

The agency has since updated their policies concerning blood draws, and the hospital has implemented policies telling nurses not to talk to the police.

  • Jonas Blane ll

    I predicted this. Payne forgot that Alex Wubbles not only was a white woman, she’s a two time Olympian. Payne thought he could mistreat her the way cops mistreat black girls/women. Now he got fired from both of his jobs.

    No sympathy here.

    • Kevin L Carlson

      Every thing is racial. Tired of the never ending hogwash.

    • Chris Humphrey

      You’re an idiot. It has nothing to do with race. Stop being a part of the problem….douche

      • Scott O. I

        That’s all little Jonie ever does on here. It’s always a racial thing. If a LEO buys a twinkie, he’s racist because he didn’t buy a king dong.

        • Jonas Blane ll

          I actually prefer twinkies over ding dongs

    • Maryann Gilbert

      Of course it’s about race!!! loser

  • JBo

    IMHO, I think the punishment handed to the detective was too severe and the punishment handed to the lieutenant was too light. The detective did seek guidance from from the watch commander as he should have but the WC issued the wrong orders. Although the detective had a duty to be familiar with current law and policy the WC, as a senior supervisor, had a greater duty and obligation to know this information. Always…PPPPPP.

    • Ray Dix

      Nonsense. That Police Officer should gave been terminated the instant that this event came to the attention of his superiors. Clearly that officer was in the habit of abusing his authority via intimidation and as a representative of the Law he had no business terrorizing that Nurse for doing her job professionally.

      She ought to sue and draw attention to the outrageous behavior of Payne and those who condoned his actions by their own obvious assent to this obvious professional misbehavior.

      • JBo

        Sorry you feel that way but the WC is expected to demonstrate a higher level of expertise and competence in decision making abilities, law and policies than a line detective. That’s why he’s the senior supervisor on duty.

        I don’t know if the detective was “clearly in the habit of abusing his authority” and I suspect you don’t either. The story didn’t mention anything to that effect and I couldn’t find any information that related to your allegation.

        As far as the nurse suing…I’m sure she will and, again in IMHO, it’s a suit that should go forward.

        • Ray Dix

          Strictly speaking, you are of course correct. I certainly cannot ‘know’ if that Officer was in such a habit, but my instincts say yes, but that certainly would not prove anything in a court of Law, but in the public opinion domain, I am likely not isolated in my view.

      • marylamb72

        I agree. He deserved severe punishment. No one should BLINDLY follow orders but firing was too much. His WC maybe since others depend on him to KNOW. He was disciplined for sexual harassment of a woman co worker. I wonder if they used it as an excuse to get him gone.

    • REALConservative

      Ridiculous. The WC should’ve been fired, too, but the WC didn’t tell the detective to tackle her and sling her around.

      The detective should’ve been charged criminally for assault. That is not even disputable since the department agrees that his behavior was was wrong. If it was wrong, then it can only be defined as criminal as well.

  • Bobdole10

    Common sense and common decency seems to be lacking with too many police officers. Many become cops because of their proclivity to bully other people.
    I didn’t say most, I said many.

  • JBo

    Then they should have terminated him four years ago. As far as the lieutenant goes, I already stated that I thought he got off too lightly.

  • Elessar

    The Nurses shouldn’t talk to the Police? Are there any exceptions to that? Sounds rather odd to me!

    • Maryann Gilbert

      Sounds like they are protecting their nurses to me. The officers have to talk with admin now. They can still get answers from them.

    • Bobdole10

      It should be crystal clear as to why after viewing that video.

    • avei

      No one should talk to the police, unless their attorney is present, and the attorney agrees. It can never help you and anything you say can be used against you.

  • Nick Nitro

    Thirty-seven departments complied with the request, disclosing that they had fired a combined 1,881 officers since 2006. Of those officers, 451 successfully appealed and won their jobs back.Police departments disclosed the reasons why they reinstated officers in about one-half of the 451 cases.

    • AuteursRevenge

      the FOP doesn’t play around.

  • gzizzle

    “blood draws are technically a “search””

    Not technically. They ARE a search.

    • Bobdole10

      That’s right. And by doing that illegal search they could have screwed up a real case, if in fact it turned out that they had one.

      • bacchys

        Only if they were pursuing a case against Gray. Otherwise, his only recourse (or the only recourse of his estate) would be to sue.
        That’s hardly an adequate remedy, imo.

        • Bobdole10

          What I’m saying is if in fact he was guilty, then by doing an illegal search he might have gotten off because the evidence may have been thrown out.

          Just another reason the cops need to do things the right way.

          • bacchys

            Well, he was the victim. So there would have been no repercussions on the officers for conducting an unlawful search if the nurse hadn’t stopped them.

            Think about that.

          • Bobdole10

            You sir are thick.

          • bacchys

            Is there supposed to be a point to your comment?

  • Peekin-In

    As I’ve said here before I normally support police unless their actions are proven wrong. From the start I felt he was wrong and his termination I feel was justified. Demoting the Lieutenant to Officer is a huge bump down but probably warranted.

    • marylamb72

      The WC should have been fired too or instead. HE is the one who is supposed to KNOW and the officers depend on him KNOWING. The Det. trusted his WC and paid for it. Blindly following orders is never a good idea.

      • avei

        Perhaps so, but in the actual termination and demotion letters, Chief Brown noted that Det. Payne did not tell Lt. Tracy the entire truth and made important omissions of material fact which the Chief speculated may have influenced Tracy’s decisions. Tracy was demoted for not being aware of police policy, and for his behavior in the matter, as well as ordering an arrest without full personal knowledge, and in Brown’s mind, not fit to command a police unit because of it. For his part, Payne appeared to use Tracy’s command decision to enable him to rough up a civilian. Tracy felt it would help coerce the nurse into doing what they wanted, even to breaking the laws.

  • Peekin-In

    Not EVERYONE is out to sue people for being wronged. I applaud her decision that won’t cost the taxpayer money as the result of Payne’s termination. The guy is gone and that’s good enough for her…

    • AuteursRevenge

      only to be rehired in another city to continue his assault on the people he serves.

      • Peekin-In

        I seriously doubt he’ll be hired anywhere else. His age probably wouldn’t work for him either.

  • marylamb72

    THAT part didn’t but this did “he could mistreat her the way cops mistreat black girls/women”.

    • AuteursRevenge

      it’s true.

  • bacchys

    Criminal charges are still possible against both, and, imo, warranted.
    The Feds should be prosecuting them both. It probably won’t happen, but it should.

  • marytg

    Hahaha he will not be pushing woman around…Lets hope some day the nurse and staff run into him again and he is the patient

  • kntuky

    I appreciate the administrators of this page for full disclosure of this matter. It is necessary to have truthfulness when reporting news. There are bad cops, but, very, very few. This was a clear case of a fool that felt disrespected and decided to flex some authority.

  • The Enemy

    This Napolean wannabe should be charged with battery, kidnapping, and unlawful restraint, and all the other useless lumps of dung with badges who stood by and watched it happen without so much as a mumble of objection should be fired too. This is why even law-abiding people are quickly losing respect for law enforcement — the problem isn’t just the “bad apples” but all the so-called “good apples” who let the “bad apples” do their thing with impunity.