Brian Laundrie was 'emotional bully,' Petito family lawsuit says

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Thursday, March 2, 2023
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NEW YORK (WABC) -- Brian Laundrie "seemed like a mental and emotional bully" to a Utah police officer who responded to a domestic call weeks before Gabby Petito was beaten to death, according to an amended lawsuit filed Wednesday night by Petito's parents.

Moab officer Eric Pratt responded to a call from a witness who reported seeing Laundrie hitting Petito.

The officers separated the couple for the night but, according to the lawsuit, treated Laundrie like the victim instead of the aggressor.

"Officer Pratt has also admitted, 'I thought he was an emotional threat to her. I thought he was a mental threat to her.' Similarly, he says he concluded during the traffic stop that Brian 'seemed like a mental and emotional bully,'" the amended complaint said.

"Officer Pratt has also colorfully admitted, 'I know these kind of guys. Brian didn't get away with anything for being cute. Brian showed more red flags than a Chinese communist rally.'"

The family's lawsuit accused Pratt and other officers of failing to properly investigate the incident that preceded Petito's death and said "Gabby's murder might have been prevented if the officers had acted properly."

RELATED | 'Burn after reading': Brian Laundrie's mom wrote letter offering to bury body, Petitos' lawyer says

A selfie taken by Gabby Petito weeks before her death shows she had facial injuries on the day she and Brian Laundrie were stopped by Moab police.


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