According to Gabby Petito, Brian Laundrie struck her in the face during an August dispute between the couple that prompted an investigation by local authorities.
This admission was made by the late social media star on August 12 after police stepped in to settle an argument between Petito and Laundrie in Utah, wiith body camera footage being released on Friday of Petito talking about the incident with a cop on the scene.
The 52-minute video was obtained by People Magazine.
In the footage, police officer Eric Pratt tells Petito that two people alleged to have seen Laundrie hit her. He asks if this is what happened.
“I guess, yeah, but I hit him first,” Petito replies, elaborating as follows:
“He kept telling me to shut up, but I hit him first. …Well, he like grabbed my face, like, I guess … He didn’t like, hit me in the face. He didn’t, like, punch me in the face or anything…
“He, like, grabbed me with his nail, and I guess that’s why it looks … definitely I was cut right here [points to cheek] because I can feel it. When I touch it, it burns.”
Petito quickly breaks down in the body cam footage, attempting to downplay the interaction and to make sure that Laundrie does not get into any trouble.
“Can’t we just have, like, a driving ticket?” she asks through tears prior to offer to pay any ticket instead of bringing charges against either her or Laundrie.
Petito, tragically, was confirmed dead on September 22.
She had been missing for days at the time after she and Laundrie went on a cross-country road trip that Gabby documented on YouTube and Instagram.
Laundrie, who has not been seen or heard from in weeks and whose whereabouts are unknown, brought Gabby’s car back to Florida at one point this summer — without Petito in it.
He is considered a person of interest in Gabby’s death.
In the police report of the traffic stop about six weeks ago, officer Pratt initially wrote that he believed “it was reported the male had been observed to have assaulted the female.”
However, he later contradicted this earlier account and wrote that “no one reported that the male struck the female.”
Police were called at the time because an onlooker says she/he observed Laundrie slapping Petito in the face.
After speaking to both parties and collecting whatever evidence they could, cops eventually classified the incident as “disorderly conduct” and determined Petito was the aggressor.
The city of Moab, Utah said in a statement to CNN last week that it has launched an investigation into the confrontation.
“We understand that individuals can view the same situation in very different ways, and we recognize how the death of Ms. Petito more than two weeks later in Wyoming might lead to speculation, in hindsight, about actions taken during the incident in Moab,” the city wrote.
“The purpose of the City’s formal investigation is to gather the underlying facts and evidence necessary to make a thorough, informed evaluation of such actions.”
Petito vanished two weeks after this altercation.
Her corpse was found about a month later.
Laundrie is currently wanted by the FBI on an active arrest warrant issued last week on allegations of unauthorized use of a debit card.
He continues to be the subject of a massive manhunt.
Duane Chapman is even doing all he can to try and bring Laundrie to justice.