A dispatcher told Moab, Utah, police officers that a 911 caller saw Brian Laundrie hitting Gabby Petito before the officers pulled over their van in mid-August.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, the report filed by the officers and body cam footage both show that police believed Petito struck Laundrie during an argument, and ultimately classified the incident as a mental health crisis, without filing any charges.
The police officers seen speaking to Laundrie in the body cam footage identify him as the “victim” and make note of his superficial injuries.
But the dispatch audio tells a different story, Fox News reported.
“RP (reporting party) states seeing a male hit a female, domestic,” the dispatcher says at around 4:38 p.m. on August 12. “He got into a white Ford Transit van, has a black ladder on the back, Florida plate.”
And after the officer asks for the name and phone number of the caller and the location of the victim, the dispatcher repeats that report.
“I’m not sure [inaudible],” the dispatcher says after giving the officer the name and number of the witness, “but the female who got hit, they both, the male and the female, both got into the van and headed north.”
The body cam audio begins two minutes after this dispatch.
The officers ended up separating Petito and Laundrie for the night, writing in their report that they didn’t believe it reached the level of a domestic violence call and was instead a “mental health crisis.”
According to Utah law, officers are required to make an arrest or issue a citation when they have “probable cause to believe that an act of domestic violence has been committed.”
Moab officials announced last week an independent investigation into how its officers handled the sistuation.
In the police report, the officers say a witness identified as “Christopher” said nothing about Laundrie hitting Petito.
“The witness says, ‘I never saw him hit her. I saw him shove her, but I couldn’t tell if it was an aggression against her or her defense against her as far as her being the aggressor,’” one of the officers says in the body cam recording. “So at this point, unless the guy’s screaming that he’s going to jail and did something to this girl, it sounds like she is the primary aggressor.”
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