Photo by Alexander Nguyen
Photo by Alexander Nguyen

A retired judge, who claimed he was being held hostage by armed suspects, was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer after a standoff in the Sawtelle neighborhood came to a peaceful end early Thursday, police said.

James Bascue, who left the Los Angeles Superior Court bench eight years ago, was released on $100,000 bail shortly before 2 p.m., according to jail records.

Preciado said police were called to a townhouse inside a gated Westside community in the 1900 block of South Barrington Avenue around midnight by the 75-year-old ex-judge, who said he was a hostage. When police arrived and looked through a window of the townhouse, they saw a man later identified as Bascue sitting on a couch with two guns, Preciado said.

When police tried to make contact with him, he began loading magazines and a gun, Preciado said, adding that a shot was then fired inside the home, and another through the window toward officers. No officers were hurt, she said.

As SWAT officers were called, the suspect contacted a neighbor, who talked him into walking out of the residence, Preciado said.

No one else was in the residence at the time of the standoff, and no other suspects were found, Preciado said.

According to the, Bascue retired in June 2007 after reaching the maximum retirement age of 67.

Bascue, who earned his law degree from UC Davis, was a Los Angeles County deputy district attorney from 1971 to 1990, serving as chief deputy from 1983 to 1985 under then-District Attorney Robert Philibosian.

In 1990, Bascue was appointed to the bench by then-Gov. George Deukmejian, and he was elected assistant presiding judge in 1999.

Bascue served as presiding judge from 2001-02, and received the Judicial Council of California’ Jurist of the Year award in 2002.

—Staff and wire reports

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