Moab police chief takes leave following outcry over department’s handling of Petito incident

Photo of Moab Police Chief Bret Edge, location and date not specified | Photo from Moab Police Department Facebook page, St. George News

MOAB — The Moab police chief has taken leave from his job as his department deals with questions over its handling of an incident involving the late Gabby Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie.

This police camera video still provided by the Moab Police Department shows Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito talking to a police officer after police pulled over the van she was traveling in with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, near the entrance to Arches National Park, Utah, in mid-August. Petito was reported missing by her family a month later. | Photo courtesy of the Moab Police Department via The Associated Press, St. George News

Police chief Bret Edge requested time off through the Family Medical Leave Act on Monday, according to a report from Fox13Now citing Lisa Church, the city’s communication manager.

It’s not known if the request is connected to criticism the department has faced over the past week.

Moab police received a 911 call on Aug. 12 regarding a domestic dispute between Petito and Laundrie. In the call, a witness claimed to see Laundrie hitting Petito.

But when police made contact with the couple, an officer claimed Petito was the one who “began slapping” Laundrie and that she was the aggressor during the dispute.

Read the full story, including audio of the 911 call and body cam footage from the police stop, here: Fox13Now

Written by JEFF TAVSS,

Copyright 2019, KSTU. A Tribune broadcasting station

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