A witness says she locked eyes with a driver fleeing police as he came "screaming towards me" and thought "this is it".

The driver - believed to have had a dog in the vehicle with him - had allegedly failed to stop for Hawke's Bay police on Karamu Rd North, Mayfair at about 9.25am yesterday.

A 21-year-old man was charged with dangerous driving, failing to stop, driving while disqualified, resisting police, and reckless driving. He was due to appear in Hastings District Court this week.

It is understood he continued for several kilometres after he drove over road spikes, with one witness noting the "front rims sparking".

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The pursuit was abandoned for safety reasons at 9.40am near the National Aquarium along Marine Parade, but the man was caught about 10am at West Quay, Napier.

The man had allegedly driven the wrong way down Marine Parade, causing other vehicles to pull over.

A witness to the man's capture said "He came screaming towards me in a dead end street"

"As I am standing at the back of my car and thinks 'this is it', our eyes glanced at each other, as he grabbed the steering wheel, spun the car in a hard as 180, nowhere to go but up onto the footpath between lamp post and fence.

"... just missing the other parked car, taking off down the grass verge, leaving police screaming to a halt in front of me, doing their 180."

One person was arrested.

Another witness who works opposite the National Aquarium told Hawke's Bay Today she heard the chase before she saw it.

Out the window, she saw a "white car racing down the wrong side of the one way road".

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"Then three cop cars on the correct side of the road shortly behind," she said.

Another witness photographed the vehicle at West Quay, where the dog believed to have been in the car was tied to a tree.