ALTADENA (CNS) - A teacher at a private high school was in custody for allegedly kidnapping three of his students after asking them for a ride, a Los Angeles County sheriff's detective said today.


The alleged kidnapping happened about 9:35 p.m. Saturday, according to Detective Greg Taylor.


``Three 17-year-old juveniles were driving in the area of Ganesha Avenue and East Mariposa Street, Altadena, when they recognized John Edward Maust, one of their high school teachers, standing on the sidewalk,'' Taylor said.


When the juveniles stopped their vehicle to say hello, Maust walked toward them and appeared to be intoxicated, Taylor said.


``The teacher then asked for a ride'' and the driver agreed, he said.


``During the ride, a conversation with the teacher caused the driver to become worried, and (he) therefore pulled over,'' Taylor said.


The juveniles got out of the car, but Maust ordered them back in, saying he wanted to go to a Jack in the Box restaurant, the detective said.


``Fearing for their well-being, the juveniles re-entered the car. It was at this time the teacher pulled out a knife on them,'' Taylor said.


One teen was able to call 911, and sheriff's deputies in a helicopter responded, ordering the driver to stop the car, but Maust escaped, according to Taylor.


Maust surrendered about 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the Altadena Sheriff's Station, the detective said.


The teacher was booked at the Crescenta Valley Station on suspicion of kidnapping, false imprisonment and criminal threats. He was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail, Taylor said.