(NewsNation Now) – Gabby Petito told a Utah police officer that her then-fiancé Brian Laundrie grabbed her during an argument on the newly released body camera footage, but she said the physical altercation started.
The footage is from the same day as the previous video That showed Petito was almost cited for domestic violence, but police allowed her and Laundrie to go separately. The fights occurred just weeks before Petito was last known, and more than a month before his body was found.
In the new video, a Moab police officer tells Petito that he can see marks on her face within minutes of meeting her. She initially dismisses it as an accident involving a backpack, but the officer continued to pressure her.
“There are two people who came to us and told us they saw him hit him,” the officer told Petito in the video. “There are two people who say they saw him hit you.”
“Well, to be honest, I definitely hit him first,” Petito said. He admitted to slapping Laundrie across the face “a couple” times. She told the officer who then grabbed her, put his hand around her jaw, and dug his nails into her cheek.
She said Laundrie didn’t hit or slap her. The two had spent months in the truck together on a trip across the country and were arguing, he told them.
The officer then calls one of the witnesses, who clarified that he did not see Laundrie hit her.
“I noticed that this couple was arguing a bit,” the witness told the officer by phone. “It seemed like they were arguing on the phone. It looked like he was trying to grab his phone. “
“I think I saw maybe a shove or a shove, but not a punch to the face or anything,” the witness said.
Petito said she hit Laundrie because she was frustrated that he was telling her to calm down, the investigation revealed. Once officers confirmed that, they said they were required by Utah law to, at the very least, cite Petito for domestic assault.
You can see the full body cam video in the player below.
When told that he would have to separate from Laundrie and appear in an online court hearing, he broke down and asked for a traffic ticket instead.
“I don’t want to be separated,” she said while crying. “Please. We are a team, please. It’s going to give me a lot of anxiety, can we get a driving ticket?”
Officers did not think a domestic violence citation was warranted, and one of them called a supervisor. After that, he asked Petito what his intention was behind hitting Laundrie.
“When you slapped him those times, were you trying to cause him physical pain or physical impairment?” I ask.
“No, never,” Petito replied.
The officer decided that this meant that she did not intend to hurt him and therefore her action did not rise to the level of domestic assault. Ultimately, the couple were told to spend the night apart, but Petito was not cited.
Previously released footage of this encounter with the police primarily featured Laundrie’s account, and Petito was further away from the microphone. He told officers that she had “gone into a manic state” after an argument, and he left her out of his truck so she could calm down. She opened the driver’s side door and the two of them struggled as she got back inside.
The last time Petito was heard from was on August 27. Laundrie returned home from her trip across the country alone on September 1, and was reported missing on September 11.
Petito’s body was found in Wyoming on September 19.
Laundrie is wanted on a bank fraud charge, but has been missing since Sept. 14, according to his attorney.
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