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SLIDELL, La. A man being sought by police twice ran from his vehicle as officers approached, both times leaving young children by themselves in the back seat, according to Slidell Police.

Detective Daniel Seuzeneau said 35-year-old Steven Charles faces charges of flight from a police officer and child abandonment.

According to Seuzeneau, Charles was involved in a hit-and-run accident on May 2 near Gause Boulevard and Carroll Road. Police said Charles fled the scene on foot, but when officers got to his car, they said they were shocked to find two children, both under the age of five, left in the back seat by themselves.

Police said the children were unharmed and were returned to their mother.

About a week later, police spotted Charles driving a GMC Envoy on Highway 11 and attempted to stop him. Police said Charles fled in the vehicle and led police on a chase through the Lakewood subdivision. At the end of a dead end road, Charles got out of his car and jumped into a nearby pond in an effort to escape.

Police used a K-9 dog to apprehend Charles, but once again, when officers got to his vehicle, they found two children alone in the back seat. Police said the children were not the same ones left behind in the first incident. The children were again found to be unharmed and returned to their mother.

Charles is currently being held at the St. Tammany Parish Jail.

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