A high school teacher was arrested Sunday after allegedly asking three students for a ride in Altadena and kidnapping them, authorities said.
John Edward Maust, 34, walked into the lobby of the Altadena sheriff’s station about 1:30 p.m. and surrendered without incident, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The 17-year-old juveniles were driving in the area of Ganesha Avenue and East Mariposa Street (map) at 9:35 p.m. Saturday when they recognized Maust, a teacher at their high school, standing on a sidewalk, the release said.
When the students stopped their vehicle to say hello, Maust walked toward them and appeared to be intoxicated, authorities said.
“The teacher then asked for a ride, to which the driver agreed,” according to the news release. “During the ride, a conversation with the teacher caused the driver to become worried and therefore pull over.”
The students exited the vehicle, after which Maust “said he wanted to go to Jack in the Box, and ordered the juveniles back into the car,” the release continued. “Fearing for their well-being, the juveniles re-entered the car.”
The suspect then pulled out a knife, the Sheriff’s Department said.
One of the students was able to call 911. Shortly afterward, Maust saw a sheriff’s helicopter overhead and ordered the driver to stop the vehicle; the teacher then got out of the car and fled, according to authorities.
Maust was arrested for kidnapping, false imprisonment and criminal threats, officials said. He was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail after being booked at the Crescenta Valley sheriff’s station.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Taylor of the sheriff’s Altadena station at 626-798-1131.