Meghan Markle NYC car chase: Duchess, Prince Harry involved in dangerous paparazzi pursuit in Midtown

Meghan Markle NYC car chase: Duchess, Prince Harry involved in dangerous paparazzi pursuit in Midtown

NEW YORK (WABC) — Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and Markle’s mother were “involved in a near catastrophic car chase at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi” Tuesday night in New York City, a spokesperson for the couple said.

The New York City police department confirmed the incident involving photographers and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex but said no injuries, collision or arrests took place.

The couple’s spokesperson said Wednesday that the pursuit lasted over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road and pedestrians.

However, police say the whole incident was over in a matter of minutes. No one was hurt or arrested.

The paparazzi were tailing them from the Ziegfeld Ballroom after Markle received the Ms. Foundation’s Women of Vision Award at the foundation’s annual gala.

A very small number of NYPD officers were with them when they observed multiple paparazzi following Meghan and Harry in cars, motorcycles, scooters.

According to preliminary information from police, the officers attempted some sort of evasive maneuver to get them away from the paparazzi, and in response, paparazzi on the scooters and bikes drove the sidewalk to keep up.

There is no evidence an accident occurred, but police say there were several short stops with paparazzi vehicles driving backwards and on sidewalks.

With the help of police, the couple was eventually able to switch to a taxi cab and be whisked away, according to a law enforcement official who was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter and did so on condition of anonymity.

The cab driver, Sukhcharn Singh, told The Associated Press that he instantly recognized his passengers when they scooted in. “They were following us the whole time,” he said of the paparazzi, though he said he wouldn’t call it a chase.

Singh was on 67th Street near an NYPD precinct when a security guard waved him down. Singh pulled the yellow taxi to the curb and in came Harry, Meghan and her mom.

“They had this look on their faces,” he said. They were about to give their destination when a garbage truck blocked their path.

“All of a sudden paparazzi came out and started taking pictures,” he said.

Instead, one of the royals told him to circle back to the precinct.

“They didn’t say much,” Singh said. “They just asked my name and then after that Harry said thanks and have a good day.”

They paid $17 in fare – and left a generous tip.

No arrests were immediately made, but NYPD will review surveillance videos from Tuesday night.

Security for Harry and Meghan has been an issue since the British government stripped them of protection when they moved to California in 2020 and it figures in three of his legal cases against the government and tabloid press.

“While being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone’s safety,” a statement on behalf of the couple said.

Mayor Eric Adams said it was “a bit reckless and irresponsible” for paparazzi to chase Harry and Meghan, and it could have injured two police officers.

The mayor, however, expressed skepticism the chase lasted two hours.

“I would find it hard to believe there was a two hour high speed chase,” the mayor said. “But if it’s 10 minutes, a 10-minute chase is extremely dangerous.”

The NYPD released the following statement:

“On Wednesday evening, May 16, the NYPD assisted the private security team protecting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. There were numerous photographers that made their transport challenging. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests in regard.”

Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, died in a car crash in 1997 while being pursued by paparazzi in Paris.

ABC News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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