NORTH PORT, Florida – Minutes after Utah Police learned of a report of a man hitting a woman and taking off in a white Ford Transit van with Florida license plates, officers arrested Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito and appeared to focus on her as the abuser, rushing the radio recordings show.
“RP (declaring) states that a sighted man hit a woman, a maid,” said the dispatcher at around 4:38 pm MT on the day of the incident. “He rode in a white Ford Transit pickup truck, has a black ladder on the back, Florida plate.”
Audio from the dispatch, first obtained by the FOX 13 Utah investigative unit, shows the dispatcher in fact briefed officers on allegations that Laundrie had been the aggressor – shedding new light on a situation which initially seemed that the police did not know the claims of the witnesses.
RP states that a sighted man hit a female domestic worker.
DETAILS OF GABBY PETITO’S UTAH FIGHT WITH FIANCE BRIAN LAUNDRIE REVEALED IN POLICE WITNESS STATEMENT
After an officer asks for the witness’s phone number and the victim’s location, the dispatcher again indicates that Laundrie hit Petito.
“The phone number is [redacted], names [redacted]”, replied the dispatcher at 4:42 p.m.” I’m not sure [inaudible], but the female that was hit, the two of them, the male and the female, both got in the van and headed north. “
Audio on bodycam recording starts at 4:44 p.m.
Under Utah law, officers are required to make an arrest or issue a summons when they have “reasonable grounds to believe that an act of domestic violence has been committed.”
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City of Moab officials announced an external investigation into their police department’s handling of the appeal earlier this week.
The officers involved will likely face disciplinary action, said Utah attorney Brett Tolman, former U.S. District Attorney for Utah.
“I think they will find out that they sort of manipulated the situation so as not to arrest someone,” he told Fox News on Sunday. “I think the fact that they had another eyewitness who is not involved in this, and is objective, and said ‘he hit her’ … you’re going to have a majority of officers who take them into custody. “
Fox News Digital was the first to report the August 12 domestic incident following Petito’s disappearance that hit the country on September 11.
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Witnesses reported seeing the couple in a fight outside Moonflower Co-op, an organic grocery store in downtown Moab. A caller told police he saw Laundrie slap and hit Petito. Another witness said it looked like he was trying to pick up her phone and leave without her.
But Laundrie, Petito and a witness identified only as “Christopher” did not tell police that he had hit her, according to the incident report from the Moab Police Department.
“The witness said: ‘I never saw him hit her. I saw him push her, but I couldn’t tell if it was an assault on her or his defense against her in the as far as she was the aggressor, “said one of the witnesses. the officers said in the body camera recording. “So at this point, unless the guy is screaming that he’s going to jail and done something to this girl, she looks like she’s the main attacker.”
PARK RANGER ASKED GABBY PETITO TO STAY AWAY FROM “TOXIC” BRIAN LAUNDRIE
Petito, through tears, told officers Laundrie tried to keep her out of the van – which was registered in her name. And several experts told Fox News that her repeated apologies and apparent self-accusation could indicate that she was a victim of domestic violence.
Officers made no arrests and issued no summons – instead choosing to separate the couple for the night. Police drove Laundire to the Bowen Motel in downtown Moab and left Petito with the van the couple lived in on a trip across the country.
But the management of the motel could not confirm whether Laundrie has already registered – a non-profit organization for victims of domestic violence has booked the room on her behalf. And the owner told Fox News he had no surveillance footage showing the laundry at the scene.
Moab Police did not immediately respond to Fox News requests for comment.
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Two weeks after the Moab incident, eyewitnesses said they saw the couple involved in another incident in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Laundrie was seen on several occasions entering the Merry Piglets restaurant to chat with the hostess and other female staff, as a distraught Petito apologized. This may be the last time she was seen in public alive.
“I think the hardest part in all of this is that even if they’ve arrested the wrong person, there’s a good chance they are alive,” Tolman said. “And, you know, there’s a reason domestic violence laws have changed and why there isn’t a backlash of tolerance towards them.”