Laundrie neighbor arrested after confronting protestors

Published: October 1, 2021 10:09 AM EDT
Updated: October 1, 2021 7:49 PM EDT

Laundrie neighbor faces charges after confronting protestors

Angelo Zappacosta, 48, was arrested and could face battery and assault charges after getting in the faces of demonstrators who have been in front of the Laundrie house all week with bullhorns.

The neighbor says that through his surveillance camera in his driveway, he could see some of the protestors peeking into his window. Zappacosta says he was trying to get the protestors off of his property when things escalated.

The arrest report says a man was handing out posters of Brian Laundrie Wednesday when Zappacosta yelled at him for coming onto his property.

But many believe it was bound to happen after days of reporters and protestors line the streets of a small neighborhood in North Port.

The victim says Zappacosta shoved and tried to punch him. Zappacosta is out on bond.

After that shove, Zappacosta knew things had gone too far and that police would soon be at his door. “Once I got home, I got something to eat, my mind cleared up a bit. I figured I would be arrested. So, I just kind of got ready I just sat and waited for them,” Zappacosta said.

Now, the 48-year-old could be facing simple battery charges. “I had no intentions of harming him but I wanted to get the message across to him to stay off my property,” said Zappacosta.

According to Angelo, on Monday, two demonstrators were taking pictures and videos of his house. That’s when they walked onto his property. His house is located behind the Laundrie family’s house. He says the two people even took a peek through his windows.

“They weren’t doing anything except harassing me,” Zappacosta said. After seeing the video of the two people on his property, Zappacosta asked for the North Port Police Department to issue a no-trespassing notice.

Police told him that in order to issue that notice, someone would’ve had to warn them to stay off of his property first. Then, on Wednesday, Zappacosta decided to do just that but may have taken it too far.

“I really don’t care if you stay here yell your bullhorn all you want just don’t come on my property. Stay off my property. I’m here to protect my family,” said Zappacosta.

Despite being arrested, the no-trespassing notice is now in effect.

Zappacosta says he takes total responsibility for everything he did. He is upset, however, that his actions took away from what is really important – “Justice for Gabby.”

New bodycam footage from incident between Petito and Laundrie

New bodycam footage from Moab police provides more insight into the relationship between Gabby Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie.

The just-released bodycam footage shows Petito telling police that Laundrie put his hands on her.

“Did he actually hit you?” the officer can be heard asking.

“I guess, yeah,” Petito responded. “But I hit him first. He grabbed my face, like this. He didn’t, like, hit me or punch me.”

“Did he slap?” the officer said.

“He grabbed my face with his nails and I definitely have a cut here, I can feel it,” Petito said.”

It’s the first time Petito can be heard clearly describing what Laundrie did to her. A witness also called 911 on Aug. 12, one month before Petito’s family reported her missing, saying Laundrie slapped Petito.

The Moab police chief is taking personal leave while the department investigates how it handled this case.

FBI collects Laundrie belongings for K-9 search

FBI agents returned to the Laundrie home, where their family lawyer says the agents were there to collect more of Brian Laundrie’s items to help with the K-9 search.

WINK News safety and security specialist Rich Kolko says, since they came back for more of his scent, the FBI could be expanding its search.

“They’ve provided that… to the original dogs, or started with new dogs,” Kolko said. “It may be a different area. You know, maybe working here and… 5 miles away, and you can’t run with the same t-shirt back and forth.”

A scent can last anywhere from five to 14 days. Kolko says some of the things they could have grabbed were items like a t-shirt or a pillowcase.