A high school teacher is accused of kidnapping three of his students over the weekend, according to the L.A. County Sheriff's Department.

Deputies allege 34-year-old John Edward Maust was “intoxicated” when he forced three 17-year-olds to drive him around Altadena Saturday.

One of the teens called 911, and a sheriff's helicopter crew overhead ordered the driver to stop, authorities said:
The teacher fled, but at 1:30 p.m. Sunday he turned himself in at the sheriff's Altadena station, according to the department.

It all started Saturday at 9:30 p.m. when the students, riding in a car driven by one of the three, spotted Maust standing at Ganesha Avenue and East Mariposa Street, deputies said.

They stopped to say hi, the teacher walked over and asked for a ride, and the driver agreed, cops said. An ordeal ensued after Maust allegedly pulled out a knife, according to a sheriff's statement:

During the ride, a conversation with the teacher caused the driver to become worried, and therefore pulled over. After the juveniles exited the car, the teacher said he wanted to go to “Jack in the Box,” and ordered the juveniles back into the car. Fearing for their well-being, the juveniles re-entered the car. It was at this time the teacher then pulled out a knife on them.

A wise call to 911 and a sheriff's helicopter appeared to put an end to the alleged crime.

Maust was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, false imprisonment, and criminal threats, deputies said. He was jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Anyone with information about the incident was asked to call detectives at 626-798-1131.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.

LA Weekly