High school teacher arrested for kidnapping in Altadena

A high school teacher has been arrested for kidnapping and threatening three 17-year-old students with a knife.
A high school teacher has been arrested for kidnapping and threatening three 17-year-old students with a knife.

John Edward Maust, 34, is a teacher at Arroyo Pacific Academy. He surrendered without incident Sunday at the Altadena Sheriff's Station.

Sheriff's department officials said the three students were driving in the area of Ganesha Avenue and East Mariposa Street in Altadena around 9:35 p.m. Saturday when they saw Maust standing on the sidewalk and stopped to say hello.

Maust appeared to be intoxicated and asked them for a ride. During the ride, Maust had a conversation with the students that worried the driver. Authorities did not reveal exact details about the conversation.

The driver pulled over and all three teens got out of the car. As they exited, Maust said he wanted to go to Jack in the Box and ordered the students to get back inside.

The teens were afraid for their well-being and got back inside, authorities said. That's when Maust pulled a knife on them, according to authorities.

One of the teens was able to call 911. A sheriff's helicopter spotted the vehicle and ordered them to stop. Maust then fled from the car.

Maust was arrested for kidnapping, false imprisonment and criminal threats. He was booked at Crescenta Valley Station and is being held on $100,000 bail.

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