Security Guard, Taxi Driver, and Photographer Speak Out on the Sussexes’ Car Chase

Security Guard, Taxi Driver, and Photographer Speak Out on the Sussexes’ Car Chase

Witnesses at the scene of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s car chase in NYC have started giving statements about the scary incident, and (while recollections vary) it’s clear that the Sussexes had an extremely distressing experience.

As a reminder, this is what Harry’s spokesperson said about the chase on Wednesday morning:

“Last night, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Ms. Ragland were involved in a near catastrophic car chase at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi. This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians, and two NYPD (New York Police Department) officers. 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. Dissemination of these images, given the ways in which they were obtained, encourages a highly intrusive practice which is dangerous to all involved.”

A member of the couple’s security team, Chris Sanchez, also spoke about the incident to CNN, saying in part:

“I have never seen, experienced anything like this. What we were dealing with was very chaotic. There were about a dozen vehicles: cars, scooters, and bicycles. The public were in jeopardy at several points. It could have been fatal. They were jumping curbs and red lights. At one point, they blocked the limousine (carrying the couple) and started taking pictures until we were able to get out.”

Meanwhile, taxi driver Sukhcharn Singh, who drove the Sussexes for part of their ride, recounted:

“They kept following us and were coming next to the car. They took pictures as we stopped and were filming us.” He also added, “I don’t think I would call it a chase. I never felt like I was in danger. It wasn’t like a car chase in a movie. They were quiet and seemed scared but it’s New York—it’s safe.”

A spokesperson for the NYPD also gave a brief statement:

“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.”

A “photographer on the scene” told People it was “sensational” to describe the incident as “near catastrophic” and added:

“Nobody got a ticket or arrested.…I don’t see how it was near catastrophic other than crazy hyperbole.”

Finally, photo agency Backgrid released a statement, saying in part (via People):

“We want to clarify that we have received photos and videos of last night’s events from four freelance photographers, three of whom were in cars and one of whom was riding a bicycle. It is important to note that these photographers have a professional responsibility to cover newsworthy events and personalities, including public figures such as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. According to the accounts given by these freelance contributors, they were covering the couple’s stay in New York City, including the possibility of a dinner after an award ceremony. They had no intention of causing any distress or harm, as their only tool was their cameras. A few of the photos even show Meghan Markle smiling inside a cab. The photographers report that one of the four SUVs from Prince Harry’s security escort was driving in a manner that could be perceived as reckless. The vehicle was seen blocking off streets, and in one video, it is shown being pulled over by the police. We understand that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s security detail had a job to do, and we respect their work. We do, however, want to point out that according to the photographers present, there were no near collisions or near crashes during this incident. The photographers have reported feeling that the couple was not in immediate danger at any point.” Backgrid added that it will be conducting an investigation into Harry’s allegations and takes them seriously.

As for the royal family, they have yet to provide a statement other than telling Us Weekly that they won’t be giving one.

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