Cops were told Brian Laundrie hit Gabby Petito: police recording

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Cops were told Brian Laundrie hit Gabby Petito: police recording

New dispatch audio shows that the Utah police who pulled Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie over in August were told that the now-missing boyfriend was the alleged aggressor.

“RP (reporting party) states seeing a male hit a female, domestic,” the dispatcher is heard saying on the day of the incident, according to Fox News, which cited police audio obtained by Fox 13 Utah.

“He got into a white Ford Transit van, has a black ladder on the back, Florida plate,” the dispatcher adds.

Police questioned the couple following a report of a domestic incident at the Moonflower Community Cooperative and pulled the pair over outside of Arches National Park on Aug. 12. A 911 caller told dispatchers he saw a man slapping a woman outside the co-op.

But the officers considered charges against Petito after seeing scratches on Laundrie’s face.

The Moab City Police Department is now under investigation for its handling of the “domestic dispute” between the couple as a “breach of police department policy.”

Gabrielle Petito speaks with police as they responded to an altercation between Petito and Brian Laundrie.
Gabrielle Petito speaks with police as they responded to an altercation between Petito and Brian Laundrie.
Moab City Police Department

The agency has come under fire after stopping the pair on reports of a possible domestic assault — separating them for the night but allowing them to continue on their cross-country trip.

Petito, 22, disappeared about two weeks later and her remains were found in Wyoming on Sept. 19.

Laundrie, who returned to Florida without his girlfriend in their white Ford Transit van on Sept. 1, is now the subject of a massive manhunt.

The audio obtained by Fox 13 also shows that when one cop asks for the witness’ phone number, the dispatcher again indicates that Laundrie had hit the Long Island native, who was seen hysterical and in tears in the bodycam footage.

The Moab City PD has come under investigation for their handling of the domestic violence call between Laundrie and Petito.
The Moab City PD has come under investigation for their handling of the domestic violence call between Laundrie and Petito.
Moab City Police Department

“Phone number is [redacted], name’s [redacted],” the dispatcher says. “I’m not sure [inaudible], but the female who got hit, they both, the male and the female, both got into the van and headed north.”

Under Utah law, police must make an arrest or issue a citation when they have “probable cause to believe that an act of domestic violence has been committed,” Fox News reported.

Brett Tolman, a former US attorney in Utah, told Fox News on Sunday that the officers will probably face disciplinary action.

“I think they will find that they sort of manipulated the situation to not take someone into custody,” he told the network. “I think the fact that they had another eyewitness that is not involved in it, and is objective, and said ‘he hit her’ … you’re going to have a majority of officers take him into custody.”

Moab police did not immediately respond to a request for comment by Fox News.

According to phone records, the police dispatcher told the officers that Brian Laundrie hit Gabby Petito.
According to phone records, the police dispatcher told the officers that Brian Laundrie hit Gabby Petito.
Moab City Police Department

Meanwhile, the search for Laundrie in Florida’s 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve will be scaled back, according to Fox News.

“I don’t think you’re going to see those large-scale types of efforts this week,” Josh Taylor, a spokesman for the North Port Police Department, told the news outlet late Sunday.

“The FBI is now leading the search. I’m told, it will be scaled back and targeted based on intelligence. Hopefully, water will lower in areas hard to currently access,” he added.

Last week, Laundrie was indicted on federal fraud charges for allegedly using a debit card in Wyoming in the days after Petito vanished.

On Sunday, two FBI agents arrived at his parents’ North Port home to gather Laundrie’s personal belongings for DNA testing, the family’s lawyer confirmed to The Post.

 

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