High school teacher in Calif. accused of kidnapping students

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ALTADENA, Calif. (PIX11) – A high school teacher in Los Angeles is accused of kidnapping three students in an alleged drunken stupor and forcing them at knife point to get him fast food, authorities said.

It happened about 9:35 p.m. Saturday near Ganesha Avenue and East Mariposa Street in Altadena, about 14 miles from downtown Los Angeles.

Three 17-year-old students were driving in the area when they spotted standing on the sidewalk John Edward Maust, a teacher at their high school, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

When the students stopped to say hello, Maust asked for a ride and the students obliged, sheriff’s officials said. The 34-year-old teacher appeared to be intoxicated, officials said.

“During the ride, a conversation with the teacher caused the driver to become worried, and therefor (sic) pulled over,” the sheriff’s department said.

The teens left the car but the teacher said he wanted to go to the fast-food chain Jack in the Block and ordered them back inside.

“Fearing for their well-being, the juveniles re-entered the car,” the sheriff’s department said.

That’s when the teacher allegedly pulled out of a knife on the students, one of whom called 911.

Soon after, a sheriff’s helicopter hovered overhead. Authorities said the teacher ordered the driver to stop the car, then he ran away.

The teacher turned himself in to authorities Sunday afternoon. He faces kidnapping, false imprisonment and criminal threat charges.


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