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Teacher kidnapped students: Man charged with using knife to order, threaten kids

A high school teacher from California is charged this week with using a knife to threaten a number of his school kids in the car and ordering them to take him to a local Jack in the Box restaurant. The man, 34-year-old John Maust, is currently being charged with separate counts of kidnapping, criminal threats, and false means of imprisonment. The Huffington Post notes in this weird news headline this Monday, June 9, 2014, that the man was allegedly drunk and tried driving with three of his students before taking out a knife to intimidate them.

Teacher kidnapped students, forced them to go to Jack in the Box?
Wikimedia Creative Commons

The accused teacher in question, John Maust, is currently in police custody and no longer a potential threat to any children, officials from Altadena, CA, have confirmed this morning. The former high school instructor was placed under arrest after being formally charged with kidnapping three of his students in one of their cars, then forcing them to drive him to a nearby Jack in the Box at knifepoint.

Maust surrendered to police forces that arrived on the scene without incident late Saturday night. According to testimonies from his students, the kids were going out for a late night drive when they spotted Maust walking on the street. Upon spotting them, the high school teacher allegedly asked them to give him a ride. They noted that Maust looked and sounded drunk, but still let the man join, unsure how to say no.

The conversation “got weird,” shares UPI News in their extra coverage, so the junior level driver — a 17-year-old student — finally pulled over, saying everyone had to get out. Yet when the minors tried to leave, Maust reportedly kidnapped the kids, taking out a knife and telling them they had to drive him to Jack in the Box because he was hungry. Afraid for their safety, the high school students quickly returned to the car and followed his orders.

Later on in the drive, while Maust was allegedly distracted ordering them around, one teen managed to make an emergency call to 911. Within 20 minutes, police cars had surrounded the vehicle, and a helicopter arrived on the scene, flying overhead. The former teacher apparently grew scared once police officials made it, and sheathed the knife, fleeing the car.

Law enforcement officers soon found and arrested Maust, charging him with kidnapping, criminal threats, and false imprisonment. The three students involved in the weird news scare are all confirmed to be safe and unharmed. It looks like Maust never got to grab a bite to eat at Jack in the Box, however.