Utah police considered charging Gabby Petito with domestic violence after a fight with her boyfriend Brian Laundrie

Gabby Petito Brian Laundrie composite image Moab Police bodycam
Gabby Petito Brian Laundrie composite image Moab Police bodycam  
  • Moab City Police considered charging Gabby Petito following an altercation between her and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, last month.

  • They opted not to after Petito told officers she had no intent to hurt Laundrie.

  • Police ultimately described the incident as a "mental health crisis" in a written report of what happened.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Utah police considered charging Gabby Petito - a 22-year-old woman who was reported missing on September 11 - with domestic violence last month following an altercation with her boyfriend Brian Laundrie, but opted not to when she said she didn't intend to hurt him, according to police body camera footage released on Thursday.

Petito and Laundrie were pulled over by Moab City Police officers on August 12, about a month before Petito was reported missing by her mother.

The couple told police that they had gotten into an argument in Moab that resulted in Petito slapping Laundrie, and Petito told officers she hit Laundrie again when she saw they were being pulled over.

According to body camera footage released by the Moab City Police Department and watched by Insider, officers considered charging Petito in the incident, despite Laundrie saying he wasn't hurt and that he didn't want to press charges.

"At this point, it sounds like she's the primary aggressor," a police officer can be heard saying in the video. "The problem with her being the primary aggressor, in instances of domestic assault, be it male or female, [is that] we should arrest."

Police then go on to tell Laundrie that he would have to be separated from Petito for the night, and that he could go into a police station the following day to have the charges dropped.

But the plan changed course when officers asked Petito if she had any intent to cause Laundrie "physical pain or physical impairment," and she said no.

"I was trying to get him to stop telling me to calm down," Petito added.

Then in a private conversation between police in the footage while contemplating charges, one officer said: "She said she thought he wasn't listening to her."

Ultimately, the officers opted not to charge Petito and described the incident in a later police report as a "mental health crisis."

"I've decided I'm not going to cite you for domestic violence/battery," an officer told Petito in the body camera footage. "It was only going to be a Class B misdemeanor, however, the domestic violence portion of it makes life a major pain in the butt, especially when you're 22."

Police still decided to separate the couple for the night, in hopes of giving them space to cool down.

Because Laundrie was determined to be the victim in the situation, police put him in a hotel for the night while Petito stayed in the van.


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