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911 Caller Saw Brian Laundrie ‘Slapping’ Gabby Petito But Police Still Claimed She Was The Aggressor

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Gabby Petito

As the search continues for Brian Laundrie, following the discovery of human remains believed to be Gabby Petito, more details are emerging about the couple’s final days together. 

Now, a 911 call reporting a domestic incident between Petito and Laundrie prior to her disappearance reveals that he may have been the aggressor in the altercation. 

Previous reports on the incident painted an image of Petito as the perpetrator in the altercation. Yet, the newly released 911 call may expose Laundrie as an abuser. 

In the 911 call, a witness claimed Brian Laundrie ‘hit’ Gabby Petito.

On August 12, Petito and Laundrie were pulled over by Moab City Police after reports of a domestic altercation. 

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In the 911 call, the caller tells a dispatcher that "the gentleman was slapping the girl."

"He was slapping her?" the dispatcher was heard asking.

"Yes, and then we stopped. They ran up and down the sidewalk. He proceeded to hit her, hopped in the car and they drove off," the caller added.

Police claimed Gabby Petito was the ‘aggressor.’

Yet, the police report on the altercation, and body cam footage, tells a different story that appears to neglect the details of the witness’s report. 

According a police report, Laundrie, Petito and a witness reported that Petito began hitting Laundrie before he "grabbed her face and pushed her back."

The responding officer initially wrote that he believes "it was reported the male had been observed to have assaulted the female," but later writes that "no one reported that the male struck the female." 

The statement that "no one reported that the male struck the female," both contradicts the officer's own report and the initial 911 call. 

In the body cam footage taken after police pulled Petito and Laundrie over, officers considered charging Petito for the altercation until Laundrie stated he did not 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. 

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"The problem with her being the primary aggressor, in instances of domestic assault, be it male or female, [is that] we should arrest."

Again, the initial claim that Laundrie was seen “slapping” Petito does not appear to have been thoroughly probed by the police. 

Police claimed Gabby Petito was having a mental health ‘break.’ 

One responding officer also reports that the incident can be "more accurately categorized as a mental/emotional health ‘break’ than a domestic assault."

The report also adds that "no significant injuries" were reported. 

However, this conclusion exposes a possible failure in the police response. 

Abuse victims face extreme danger when reporting their abuser to police. It is not uncommon for victims to lie or take responsibility for abuse in order to avoid having to report domestic incidents. 

Police painting Petito as emotionally unstable and in the midst of a mental health crisis without accurately investigating whether or not she was in danger may prove detrimental as more evidence emerges about Laundrie’s role in her disappearance

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Alice Kelly is a senior news and entertainment editor for YourTango. Based out of Brooklyn, New York, her work covers all things social justice, pop culture, and human interest. Keep up with her Twitter for more.