A Hamilton man has been arrested for fleeing from police with an infant and a toddler in the backseat of his van, police say.

The chase started on Thursday, April 10 around 9:30 a.m. when a police officer saw a man using his cell phone while driving a 2000 Mazda MPV minivan. An officer tried to stop the van but the man sped away, police say.

The officer abandoned the chase because of concerns for public safety, and saw the van turn left onto King Street. Witnesses told police that the van turned onto Garfield Avenue – which is a dead end street.

The officer found the vehicle, but the female passenger was now driving with the man sitting in the passenger seat. A 20-month-old child and 7-week-old infant were in the backseat, police say.

The van was finally stopped and the original driver was arrested. Further investigation revealed the man’s license was on a Canada-wide suspension for failing to stop.

A 27-year-old Hamilton man was charged with dangerous driving, flight from police, driving while disqualified and driving while using a handheld communication device. He was held for a bail hearing.

The man’s name is not being released as it may identify the other people in the vehicle, police say.