“Well, he kept telling me to shut up,” Petito responds. “He didn’t like, hit me in the face … like, punch me in the face or anything. … He, like, grabbed me with his [finger] nail, and I guess that’s why it looks … I definitely have a cut right here [points to cheek] because I can feel it. When I touch it, it burns.” She said he had also grabbed her arm when the officer asked about marks on her skin.
She later asked, sobbing: “Can’t we just have, like, a driving ticket?” She offered to pay any ticket instead of facing charges against either her or Laundrie.
Petito told the officers she had been struggling with her mental health and with Laundrie while living in the van’s close quarters.
When Laundrie was asked by one of the officers about the report from witnesses of a “man hitting a female,” Laundrie responds on the video: “I pushed her away. She gets really worked up. And when she does, she swings.”
Despite the fraught situation, “both the male and female reported they are in love and engaged to be married and desperately didn’t wish to see anyone charged with a crime,” Pratt noted in his report.
Pratt initially wrote in his account that “it was reported the male had been observed to have assaulted the female.” But he wrote later that “no one reported that the male struck the female.”
Pratt suggested to the couple that Laundrie stay alone at a nearby hotel room for the night to “reset” matters, while Petito stay in the van.
Petito’s mother, Nicole Schmidt, last talked to her on Aug. 24. She received two text messages from her daughter’s phone in the days after speaking to her, but it was unclear whether they were actually sent by her daughter, ABC reported.
Laundrie returned home without Petito on Sept. 1 to North Port, Florida, where he lived with his parents and Petito. Police found the white van the couple had been driving at the home. Laundrie is considered a person of interest in Petito’s death.
The newly released video can be seen up top. Petito’s account of the confrontation is in the first 5 minutes.