A Nelson man will appear in court today after allegedly abducting a 20-month-old baby before fleeing in a stolen car.

Police say they started pursuing the 27-year-old man after a fight at a house yesterday afternoon.

The pursuit was quickly called off, but police found the man later in the day parked in Appleby.

He handed the baby over to police before fleeing again - but police used road spikes to stop him.

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He'll appear in the Nelson District Court on abduction and assault charges today - but police say further charges are likely.