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Officer who dragged and arrested nurse at Utah hospital is fired from job as paramedic

The Salt Lake City Police officer who arrested and dragged a Utah nurse from the hospital for refusing to let him take a blood sample of an unconscious patient has lost his job as a paramedic.

Detective Jeff Payne, who handcuffed nurse Alex Wubbles in an incident captured on a body camera, was fired from Gold Cross Ambulance, KUTV reports. He worked there part time and the company said he was let go even though he was not on duty with the service during his arrest of Wubbles.

“We take his inappropriate remarks regarding patient transports seriously,” the company said in a statement. “We acknowledge those concerned individuals who have contacted us regarding this incident and affirm our commitment to serving all members of the community with kindness and respect. We will continue to maintain our values of outstanding patient focused care, safety and the complete trust of the communities we serve.”

The incident took place July 26 but body camera footage was just released last week, causing widespread outrage. Payne was attempting to take a blood sample from the victim of a car crash when Wubbles stepped in to stop him because the patient was unconscious and could not consent. The police officers did not have a warrant to obtain the blood sample, according to Fox News.

Wubbles screamed “help me” and “you’re assaulting me, stop!” while other officers looked on as she was handcuffed. Payne, who initially remained on the job, was placed on administrative leave. A second police officer, who has not been identified, was also placed on leave.

According to Fox13, the incident spurred a new policy at the University of Utah that will prevent law enforcement from interacting directly with nurses, and will restrict where conversations with police will take place.

“We will never interact with the police department on patient care area,” Chief Nurse Margaret Pearce said. “This is never acceptable, and if there's a discussion or an issue, it needs to occur outside the patient care environment.”

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