A 34-year-old high school teacher from California, John Edward Maust, was arrested on June 8 in Altadena and accused of kidnapping three teenagers at knifepoint on the evening of June 7. The teens were driving in Altadena around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday when they spotted their teacher standing on the sidewalk. When they stopped the car to say hello, the teacher asked for a ride.
According to The Huffington Post, the teens readily agreed to give their teacher a lift, “but soon became alarmed by his behavior and stopped the car.” The teens became so concerned that they all exited the vehicle. That’s when Maust exclaimed that he wanted to go to a Jack-in-the-Box restaurant, and demanded that everyone get back into the car.
NBC News in Los Angeles quoted Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Tony Moore as saying that the teens "immediately noticed that he was intoxicated.” Although the students were concerned for their safety, they all reluctantly got back into the car when Maust produced a knife.
During their stressful ride in search of fast food for Maust, one of the kids in the car had it together enough to dial 911 from his cell phone. The teacher ended up fleeing the vehicle on foot when he noticed a police chopper hovering overhead. Fortunately, none of the students were harmed as a result of their encounter with Maust on Saturday night.
At approximately 1:30 p.m. the following day, Maust turned himself in to authorities at the Altadena Sheriff’s Office. Deputies immediately placed him under arrest without incident.
There is currently no mention of the incident on either the school’s website or Facebook page. The teacher from Arroyo Pacific Academy in Arcadia is looking at charges of kidnapping, false imprisonment, and criminal threats. As of yesterday, he was still being held on $100,000 bail.