A security guard in Toledo, Ohio, is facing a criminal charge after pulling a gun on a sheriff’s deputy when the officer wore his service weapon into an IRS office while on duty.
What are the details?
Lucas County Sheriff’s Deputy Alan Gaston stopped at the IRS office on May 31 to inquire about a letter he had received. Deputy Gaston was in full uniform at the time, with his badge and service weapon clearly visible.
According to Gaston, security guard Seth Eklund informed the deputy he could not be armed in the IRS office, and told the officer he would have to secure his gun in his vehicle. With that, Gaston turned to leave, and Eklund pulled his gun on the deputy and followed him out, holding the officer at gunpoint and attempting to take him into custody.
At some point during the incident, someone within the IRS office called 911 to report that a suspect had entered the facility armed with a gun. The Daily Mail reported that the caller failed to mention that the perceived threat was an on-duty uniformed law enforcement officer.
Police arrived at the scene to find Eklund still holding Gaston at gunpoint; the security guard can be heard on surveillance footage telling the responding officers, “He’s got a gun and he won’t leave.”
Eklund now faces one charge of aggravated menacing, and is due in court this week. Gaston has filed a civil lawsuit against the guard and the security firm that employs him. The deputy is currently on medical leave, and is seeking compensation for lost wages and psychological distress stemming from the incident.
What did the deputy say?
Surveillance video of the confrontation has been released, showing Eklund pointing his gun at Gaston after he turned to leave. The deputy told WTVG-TV how he felt in that instant, saying, “Basically preparing myself to be shot at that moment. Bracing myself for a shot in my back.”
He added, “There’s really no way to know how you’re going to act when there’s a gun pointed at you and when you think you’re going to lose your life.”