MOAB, Utah — The Moab Police Department in Utah has released officer bodycam footage showing police interacting with Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito after a witness called 911 to report an altercation between the couple.
The reporting party called 911 around 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 12 over “possible domestic violence” near Moonflower Community Cooperative in Moab and said he saw Petito, 22, and Laundrie, 23, arguing over a phone, ABC7 reported.
“The driver of the van, a male, had some sort of argument with the female, Gabbie,” a responding officer wrote in a report, referring to conversations he had with Petito, Laundrie, and the witness, according to Fox News.
“The male tried to create distance by telling Gabbie to go take a walk to calm down, she didn’t want to be separated from the male, and began slapping him,” the report said. “He grabbed her face and pushed her back as she pressed upon him and the van, he tried to lock her out and succeeded except for his driver’s door, she opened that and forced her way over him and into the vehicle before it drove off.”
Police interaction with Laundrie and Petito occurred several weeks before the woman was reported missing by her mother. The video shows Moab officers talking to a visibly distraught Petito – and Laundrie – once they stopped the couple in their white van, according to ABC7.
Responding officers separated the couple before they each described the incident that prompted the 911 call, the station added.
An officer wrote, “It was reported the male had been observed to have assaulted the female,” but later documented that “no one reported that the male struck the female.”
However, their first observations after the van was stopped showed Petito was “crying uncontrollably” in the passenger seat.
One of the responding officers said the incident can be “more accurately categorized as a mental/emotional health ‘break’ than a domestic assault,” and that “no significant injuries” were reported, according to Fox.
Police said the couple did not wish to separate, but officers required them to do so in lieu of no charges being filed, ABC7 reported. A responding officer deemed Laundrie to be “at low risk of danger or harm as a result of his proximity to his fiancee Gabbie.” Laundrie reportedly stayed in a hotel that night, while Petito remained with the van.
Petito’s last known location was Aug. 25 in Grand Teton National Park. Laundrie, meanwhile, drove back to the Florida Gulf Coast town of North Port on Sept. 1, which is where their trip began. The van was recovered by police at his family’s home on Sept. 11.
Laundrie has been uncooperative with authorities during the investigation, Law Officer reported.
“On the advice of counsel the Laundrie family is remaining in the background at this juncture and will have no further comment,” he said in a statement released by his attorney.
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