Jeff Payne, who handcuffed a nurse after she refused to take blood from an unconscious patient, has been fired weeks after video of the incident was released

October 11, 2017 02:30 PM

The Utah detective who violently detained a nurse for refusing to take a blood sample from an unconscious patient has been fired weeks after video footage of the incident made national headlines, PEOPLE confirms.

A police spokesman says Jeff Payne was fired from the Salt Lake City Police Department on Tuesday in connection with the July 26 altercation, in which he pulled nurse Alex Wubbels from the lobby of the University of Utah Hospital, where she worked.

Payne’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.

His firing comes one month after a pair of investigations found that Payne and his supervisor, Lt. James Tracy, violated several department policies in the incident. Investigators called Payne’s conduct “inappropriate, unreasonable” and “disrespectful.”

Tracy was demoted at the department from a lieutenant to an officer — a two-position downgrade, the police spokesman says.

Last month, Wubbels released video footage of the moments before and during when Payne forcibly handcuffed her and took her to his police cruiser, after she refused to draw blood from an unconscious patient who had been involved in a fatal crash.

Earlier in the encounter, Wubbels told the detective that both the law and the hospital’s policies prevented her from letting him have access to the patient’s blood without a warrant or the patient’s consent.

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Jeff Payne
Alex Wubbels
Rick Bowmer/AP


The situation unfolded after a collision in northern Utah left one driver dead and another badly injured, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

Footage of the hospital altercation showed Wubbels, Payne and a pair of hospital security officers in the lobby as she explained why she could not take the blood.


Appearing frustrated with Wubbels’ stance, Payne was then shown in the video grabbing Wubbels and pulling her through the hospital doors before slamming her against a wall.

Payne was shown handcuffing the nurse and placing her in the front seat of a police car. She was later released and was not charged with a crime, according to the Washington Post.

Days after the video was released, Wubbels and her attorney, Karra Porter, appeared on the Today show where Wubbels announced that she was considering filing a lawsuit.

“Nothing, by any means, has been off the table,” Wubbels said of a potential suit.

She added of the incident: “This can’t be happening. It should never have happened. And, if I have anything to say about it, it won’t ever happen again.’

Porter did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE on Wednesday, following news of Payne’s termination from the police department.

In a tweet, however, she praised Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown, writing that he “took significant steps, and seems to understand the importance of regaining public trust.”

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