High school teacher accused of holding students in car at knife point

An Arcadia high school teacher remained in custody Monday after surrendering to authorities in connection with the kidnapping of three students at knife point, authorities said.

John Edward Maust, 34, turned himself in at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, and was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, false imprisonment and making threats, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.


Maust is an instructor at Arroyo Pacific Academy, a four-year private college preparatory high school.

A school official who answered the phone Monday declined to talk about Maust. She said the school planned to issue a statement later in the day.

The incident began about 9:35 p.m. Saturday as the students were driving near Ganesha Avenue and East Mariposa Street in Altadena. They spotted Maust, their teacher, standing on the sidewalk, sheriff's officials said.

They stopped the car to greet him and asked him if he needed a ride. Sheriff's officials said Maust appeared to be intoxicated.

One of the students became worried about a conversation they were having with Maust during the ride and pulled over.

The students got out of the car, but Maust insisted on going to Jack in the Box and ordered them to get back inside the car, sheriff's officials said.

The students feared for their safety, so they entered the car, and Maust pulled out a knife, department officials said in a statement.

One of the students was able to call for help, which prompted a sheriff's helicopter to respond.

Maust apparently saw the helicopter and allegedly ordered the student driving the car to stop. He reportedly exited the car and fled the area.

He was being held on $100,000 bail.