The driver blasted through red lights in a bid to avoid a swarm of paparazzi and get Cruise and his daughter to the heliport. The chase resulted in several near-accidents.
By Jennifer H. Cunningham AND Helen Kennedy / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Wednesday, July 18, 2012, 1:56
Tom Cruise and his daughter Suri leave in a helicopter from the heliport at W. 30th St. on the West Side Highway in Manhattan, NY July 18, 2012.
Tom Cruise — with his 6-year-old daughter Suri in the car — led paparazzi on a perilous high-speed chase along the West Side of Manhattan Wednesday.
Just two days after the child was in a minor car accident with her mom, actress Katie Holmes, Cruise’s driver blew through a half-dozen red lights during the frenzied pursuit.
Cruise was taking Suri from a Robert de Niro's luxury TriBeCa hotel, the Greenwich, to the heliport at 12th Ave and W. 29th St. in a black Chevy Suburban.
At least 10 cars, and six bicyclists and motorcycles, followed Cruise during the 20-minute chase — also running the red lights.
There were several near-accidents, and one van was pulled over by cops on 10th Ave.
Cruise and Suri, who was wrapped in pink blanket, emerged from a side door of the Greenwich about noon and ducked into the back of the SUV, attempting to dodge photographers waiting behind police barricades at the front of the hotel.
Their driver headed for the West Side Highway, then quickly got off at the 10th Avenue exit, running the red light there.
The SUV then sped up 10th Ave., blowing more red lights, until turning left on W. 34th St.
The vehicle drove a few more blocks and pulled into the heliport, which has a privacy fence obscuring the view from passersby.
The SUV hit 40 to 45 mph on 10th Ave., where the speed limit is 25 mph, and 55 to 65 on the West Side Highway, where the limit is 40 mph.
Cruise emerged from the Chevy Suburban wearing a light blue button-down shirt, Ralph Lauren blue jeans and black Timberland work boots and aviator shades with a gray lens and gold rims.
Suri, clad in pink flip flops and an orange shift dress similar to what she wore Tuesday, her ponytail tied with a pink ribbon, clutched a white stuffed sheep and a blanket.
Her face was nestled into her dad's left shoulder and her hands were wrapped around his neck as he carried her to the waiting helicopter.
Suri also had a "Speed Racer" tattoo on her left ankle.
The chopper took off in a southwest direction, towards New Jersey.
Suri and her mom were in a Mercedes-Benz limo Monday night when their fender was sideswiped by a garbage truck.
Neither was hurt.
Holmes, 33, filed for divorce in Manhattan on June 28 in a surprise move that left Cruise “deeply saddened,” his rep said in a statement.
Holmes won primary physical custody of Suri in a speedy settlement 11 days later.