Security Pulls Gun On Uniformed Cop Who Wouldn't Disarm In Gun Free Zone

Security guard Seth Eklund pointed a gun at Deputy Alan Gaston's back, then tried to take him into custody.

Toledo, OH – A security guard at an IRS office pulled a gun on a uniformed deputy and attempted to take him into custody for refusing to disarm.

The incident occurred on May 31, after on-duty Lucas County Sheriff’s Deputy Alan Gaston stopped by the IRS office at 4 Seagate to ask a question about a letter he had received, WTVG reported.

After he’d walked inside, he was confronted by armed security guard Seth Eklund, who told him he couldn’t have his duty weapon inside the office.

Eklund ordered Deputy Gaston to take the gun out to his vehicle, but the deputy said that he cannot disarm while on duty.

As Deputy Gaston turned and walked out of the office, Eklund followed behind him with a gun pointed at the deputy’s back, security footage showed.

Deputy Gaston said he recalled “basically preparing myself to be shot at that moment,” WTVG reported. “Bracing for a shot in my back.”

The deputy continued to walk away from Eklund, who followed him out to the elevators with his gun still drawn, the video showed.

"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," Deputy Gaston said.

With his gun still drawn, the security guard reached out and unsuccessfully attempted to take Deputy Gaston into custody.

Deputy Gaston, a defensive tactics instructor, determined that walking away was the best way to de-escalate the tense situation.

He said he was also concerned that Eklund’s behavior was putting other people in the building at risk.

Meanwhile, an employee inside the 911 office called Toledo police to report that there was a man with a gun inside the building and that he wouldn’t leave, WTVG reported.

The caller didn’t mention that the armed man was a uniformed sheriff’s deputy who was trying to exit the building.

Toledo police arrived at the scene and quelled the situation, and Eklund has since been charged with aggravated menacing.

He is scheduled to appear in court next week.

Deputy Gaston said that Eklund “went 0 to 100” with regards to his use of force, and said that his behavior indicated a lack of training.

The deputy noted that he believes the security guard’s use of lethal force was “unacceptable” in that situation.

Deputy Gaston is currently on medical leave after suffering psychological and emotional distress as a result of the incident, WTVG reported.

He and his wife have filed a civil lawsuit against Eklund and the security company seeking compensation for lost wages and psychological damage.

Eklund and the IRS office have not responded to requests for comment, WTVG reported.

Comments (230)
No. 1-50
JBo
JBo

I'd say the deputy acted with amazing restraint and deescalated nicely. I'd also say the security guard is a loose canon who is fortunate not to have shot a deputy sheriff in the back. The guy is way too volatile to be carrying a gun.

PS: the 911 caller was an idiot for failing to mention that the man with a gun was an on duty, uniformed deputy sheriff.

Wwolfwp
Wwolfwp

Further proof that Obama's IRS is still actively weaponized against We The People.

K-9 319
K-9 319

There are classes for Security Guards and for armed Security Guards. Apparently this guy was sleeping or in the bathroom when this type of incident was taught. Kudos to the Deputy who kept his cool and did his best to deescalate the situation and was not hurt, and glad the Guard will be tried. Should also have his pistol permit revoked. We don't need people like this armed.

619Steve
619Steve

Once the deputy turned to leave that should have ended the issue. However the armed security guard escalated the issue. The deputy was not endangering the guard or the public. The deputy’s weapon remained holstered. The guard should not have left his post to pursue the deputy. His responsibility is to observe and report. His armed certification needs to be revoked and he needs to be reassigned to a midnight shift at a construction site.

sltravis66
sltravis66

Well if an officer walks into wherever Im at, I feel safer, I would NOT want him to remove his weapon. He’s the dude I’m getting behind if shit goes down not that I’m ever anywhere but the grocery store, lol. But these days you don’t know when or where someone crazy may pull a gun.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

In uniform and with a gun is not the way to take care of personal business with the IRS. It is not fair to the IRS employees who will likely feel intimidated. Nor is "on the clock time" a good time to take care of personal business with the IRS. It is not fair to the taxpayers who pay the deputies salary and expect him to use work time for work.

The civil and criminal litigation is going to be interesting. This might backfire on Deputy Gaston because the federal government may see this as an encroachment on their authority to make policy for federal government facilities. A lot probably depends on exactly what their policies were, and whether they had any provisions directed to police officers who were not in the facility on police business.

robocop95
robocop95

This country is doomed.

Trueferblue
Trueferblue

About time a cop got to play the victim lottery! I hope he has the winning ticket!

Dot200
Dot200

Pretend cop is lucky real cop didn't smoke him. He should find a new profession quick!

twostickmack
twostickmack

a security guard has no authority over a deputy sheriff.wow.

Scott Baldwin
Scott Baldwin

First... the Security Company needs to train its staff on how to handle on-duty LEO. Secondly, this security guard needs to be (1) fired (2) banned from ever working in security of law enforcement and (3) stripped of his right to own and carry any firearm. Lastly.... aggrevated menacing? How about assault upon a LEO with a deadly weapon? The guard needs to be sent to prison for that kind of behaviour.

Danimyl
Danimyl

Paul Bart the Mall Cop got promoted I see

LEO0301
LEO0301

I too would be traumatized and need counselling after having a gun pointed at my back. I too would hire the best lawyer possible to sue the shit out of this loose canon and the company that hired him. I think a couple million dollars would certainly help me get over that trauma...;)

PPD5F24
PPD5F24

If the IRS is worried about armed, pissed off people in their buildings, then maybe they're ignoring the larger problem here.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

18 U.S. Code § 930. Possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal facilities

(a) Except as provided in subsection (d), whoever knowingly possesses or causes to be present a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a Federal facility (other than a Federal court facility), or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both. . . . (d) Subsection (a) shall not apply to— (1) the lawful performance of official duties by an officer, agent, or employee of the United States, a State, or a political subdivision thereof, who is authorized by law to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of any violation of law; . . .

militans Deo
militans Deo

I really hope Deputy Eklund gets paid. He needs to sue the IRS as well.

konadave
konadave

On the flip side, I was at the Roseville California Social Security Office which also protects it's lobby with armed security guards. They made me go back to my car after I said I had a small pocket knife with me. Shorty after I returned an apparently known lady who was reported banned from all Social Security Offices started making a scene over something. The Guards advised her to leave and she said..."Fine, I'm going to get my gun out of my car". Then they let her go to her car. Meanwhile, I moved to the closest exit. Fortunately, she got in her car and left. Perhaps our public federal offices should have law enforcement officers instead of poorly trained security officers.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

He should probably wait on that until the statute of limitations period on 18 U.S.C. section 930 has expired.

vwiles34
vwiles34

There have been too many incidents around places that want to be firearm free. And its time for our law-makers to come up with laws regarding this. It seems that different businesses have different policy. And this is causing confusion as well as different instructors of CCW classes, say different things. They should allow any on-duty LEO to go in any business or public place even if for personal reasons. I know I'll catch slack for this but if you're carrying a concealed weapon with or without you should not be able to disobey the sign. It's the business owners property and if you don't like their policy go elsewhere. And if found in violation their permit should be taken away. But the way it's going there is going to be a death. I've seen people on various sites and people I've met who recently got a carry permit who say those signs don't apply to them and they go on and on about what they'll do if they witness a crime. And the first thing that comes out of their mouth is I'll pull out my gun. I believe in being able to carry concealed, But not to take a gun on someone's property who doesn't want anyone bringing weapons on their property. As for this guard at the IRS I ran into this a few years ago. I wasn't armed at the time but he was looking in women's purses asking people if they had knives or fingernail clippers and so forth. And I could understand some of this. But it was the way he was doing it. You'd have thought he was a drill sergeant and the customers were raw recruits. And recently when I was at the Social security office. The guard there was being very cold toward people. And one ask about his uniform saying security at the hospital wore uniforms like that. He went balistic and said no they don't. And told her no security officer's or law enforcement agency could wear that type of uniform it was strictly for officers who protected federal facilities. Black pants and grey uniform shirts is hardly unique and the hospital guards here do wear this.

Glockdog
Glockdog

The security company should lose the contract to the IRS office for lack of training in hiring qualified personnel.the security company should fire the security guard for being an idiot and making a bad decision. the deputy should drop the lawsuit. if the deputy can't handle that situation then he shouldn't be a cop but clearly he can handle the situation because he did the right thing and de-escalated the situation. The cops charged the security to protect their fellow officer and to thumb their noses at security. And the lawsuit should be dropped it's just frivolous

jccookie64
jccookie64

While this was a Federal building and there are rules about carrying weapons on federal property, there are exceptions for active law enforcement. However, they do have to register -show credentials such as a badge - to be allowed to carry. The security guard should have accepted his credentials (badge) or called a supervisor that was able to approve.

new2lv2
new2lv2

How does this cornball think he's got any kind of authority to arrest an on duty deputy? I'm happy the "security TARD" is getting charged with something, however I believe he's earned more than just one felony for this. Anyway, at least he'll never work in any field like this again.

Smaugmik
Smaugmik

What? The? Fuq? Eklund should never be allowed to posses firearms. He obviously has an Ego problem, (read: tiny pecker) and could have caused any number of casualties with his asinine and juvenile behavior.

deputydawg7
deputydawg7

I am a former deputy sheriff and presently a working armed security officer and former security company owner. I am strongly pro-police because I proudly used to be one.

My comment may be very unpopular but it will be factual. Feel free to research it for yourselves and correct me if I am wrong.

Per federal law the deputy was not authorized to carry his firearm inside the federal facility unless he was on official law enforcement business. He was also subject to arrest for a federal crime (carrying his gun in a Federal building on personal business). Period. End of discusion.

From the Department of Homeland Security's website FAQs:

Q: I am a state or local law enforcement officer. Can I bring my service weapon with me?

A: No. It is unlawful for armed state or local law enforcement officers to possess a firearm in a Federal facility unless there is an official law enforcement purpose for the visit."

There was no official law enforcement purpose for the deputy's visit. It was a personal purpose and thus carrying his duty weapon or any firearm into the federal office was illegal.

I see most of you are ragging on the security officer in this case. He was doing his job... he was overzealous and over reacted by pulling a firearm on a uniformed deputy sheriff over a minor issue but he was doing his job. As far as trying to take an on duty uniformed deputy into custody, that's ill advised and I don't see a need for that. The security officer may indeed have and probably did have the legal authority to do just that (make an arrest) per federal laws. I didnt research it far enough because I just don't care. I don't plan on carrying a gun into a Federal building for any reason.

Overall the security officer's method was overzealous but he did his job of keeping firearms (not attached to Federal Agents) out of the facility. The method was over the top, but he was doing what he was hired to do and told to do and that part is supported by Federal law. Pulling a gun and following the deputy out is overzealous and shows a glaring lack of professional courtesy on his part.

I think the easiest way to have handled it would have been to explain the rules / laws to him and ask him to leave and come back when he was off duty minus the gun. Seeing how this plays out in the court system will be interesting indeed. I won't be surprised if some local charges get dropped and some federal ones get filed. Moral of the story - A little professional courtesy sure goes a very long way!!!

Raydog
Raydog

I want to know what kind of idiot pulls a gun on a uniformed officer

Idahosergeant
Idahosergeant

The same thing happened to me in a Social Security Office in Twin Falls, Idaho. But I just walked out and filed a complaint on him . That's the problem when you hire a bunch of cop wannabee punks to do a man's job. They dont have any brains or common sense. Any idiot should be able to figure out that if there ever is a problem in the government building the REAL cops are going to be called to handle the situation. If you trust them enough to call them when you need help then common sense would tell you that them being armed in uniform in there only ups the security. Leave it to the government to come up with hiring a cop wannabee to be security gaurd

Thendricks
Thendricks

This deputy was 100% in the wrong and should be the one getting charged (if he entered the property armed). And he's not entitled to any compensation. I'm a 20yr LE veteran AND do federal contract security on the side. Local LE is not permitted on most federal properties unless on official police business. He was there on personal business while on duty. He violated federal law....period. Now I totally disagree with the law, but it is the law. I can't even go from my LE job to my other job without disarming.

Watchman53
Watchman53

Can we say dumbass security has a weapon gun free zone and po-po can not. "Dumbass"

Dutchuncle
Dutchuncle

FIRE THAT POC RENT-A-COP.

Thinblueline
Thinblueline

I can’t even believe I am really reading this story!!! A security guard pulled a gun on a uniformed deputy. Jesus Christ!! His obituary would have read, he was killed because he was a stupid motherfucker!!

Mel918
Mel918

Frickin loser! He was in uniform 🙈

Bluetoothlaw
Bluetoothlaw

How the hell you pull a gun on a Deputy and wasn't stopped the threat use on the security guard. Wouldn't have happened in Wisconsin. Unbelievable! Can't believe this happened really? A deputy!

Da$
Da$

Yo Seth, u must wanna die dipshit.

Texas-Bubba
Texas-Bubba

Fuckin Moron

lka ferrari
lka ferrari

completely right!!!!!!! Burgers Allday

reverett456117502
reverett456117502

People, law enforcement officers in uniform on duty DO NOT EVER disarm! In this day and age, with all of the hate and discontent circling around police officers are "they" crazy??? Anyone who believes the police should disarm needs to seek another profession immediately! The way I used to put it to people who told me " You can't do that", I would say, "Well, you are going to see a miracle happen right before your eyes because I'm going to do it!" Normally, they took the hint and our discussion ended. Sometimes, I had to make a believer in them and trust me, I'm not some physically fit specimen, but I didn't allow someone to tell me what they were or weren't going to do, even if it took the Calvary being called in to help! Yes, let's disarm someone with a big bullseye on their back anyway? Sorry NO!

61mouse
61mouse

Where is the video ???

Gunnersbumpa
Gunnersbumpa

Thendricks, I'm sure glad I didn't work for you if in fact you are a supervisor. You don't sound like you'd back your guys worth a shit. You'd hang them out to dry every chance you get. Anything to make you feel bigger. I'll also bet you wear knee pads and have to wipe your nose at the end of every shift. Ever hear of the word DISCRETION, ever cop uses it, there is no reason why it won't be appropriate in this instance.

RPG156
RPG156

Not taking the guard's side... but depending on the deputy's demeanor, he may have been justified. There are, in fact, instances of on-duty LEO going into the workplace of their spouse and shooting her. While the deputy has a right to not disarm, if the area he was in is not open to the general public, without a warrant, he has no right to be there and if given notice, should leave. And at his trial, if there is one, the guard is going to have ample justification and explanation for what he did. This was a bad situation and poor decision making on everyone's part.

Skeeter35
Skeeter35

In other news.....Security Guard Seth Eklund called police to assist with a break in at the IRS office in Toledo OH.... Upon arrival the deputies were ordered to remove their firearms before entering the building to investigate...what a joke. Rent a cop

sanman899
sanman899

More examples how the left are destroying all resemblance of COMMON SENSE.

Pack
Pack

I’d rather have read the the security guard got double tapped.

USMCvet
USMCvet

Wow! Just wow! From this story BOTH the security guard AND the Sheriffs dept. need training! There is a separation between state and federal! ALL federal government offices, whether in a combined OR separate locations come under federal firearms laws, NOT state! ALL federal offices have legal signage stating chapter and verse of weapon possession inside! A state employew, unless responding to a broadcast call for support, cannot violate federal law. If you go to your local IRS, Social Security Office, or any other federal office, they WILL have armed guards on duty! Firearms taken in is a no-no. If you accidentally come in with a pocket knife they will take it and hold it until you are ready to leave! The Deputy should know this, which speaks volumes about training! The guard? Should have NEVER pulled his weapon unless the deputy went for his!! The guard escalated the problem when he did so! Seeing a state officer in uniform, he should've assumed that the officer was unaware of the federal law, and, assuming that the officer had no other opportunity to visit the office BUT when on duty, should have gently informed the officer that, even though he understood the "can't surrender weapon while on duty" directive issued by the state, it doesn't apply when on federal property! The officer should then either been given the opportunity to lock his weapon in the state vehicle, or come back when not on duty! The REASON for the federal law, is it is considered that a person approaching in uniform, may NOT be who they say they are, or could be dressed to do so to commit harm! They ALSO may have their firearm grabbed by disgruntled civilians and used to attack the federal workers! Now to us of the firearm experts variety, does this sound reasonable? No! As police officers there should be a federal waiver for open carry! Then this also gets into 2nd amendment right to bare arms constitutional areas! I have a right to keep AND BARE arms, and this right shall not be infringed! For a federal property to deny this right is unconstitutional! Armed guards?no problem. But Americans have constitutional rights that the federal government chooses to try to limit!

Brock Way
Brock Way

The back and forth on this seems to focus on if the deputy was conducting "offical business" by asking about a letter he had received, and thus was allowed to possess a firearm. If the deputy was working, on his way to work, or on his way home from work, he was in the course of his "Official Duties".

Remember, police officers are never being paid for what they are doing, they are paid for what they might have to do. If the deputy had entered his bank to cash a personal check and the bank was robbed, the deputy could not refuse to take action as he was on "personal time". If the deputy had walked in to this facility and witnessed that same guard wresteling with a armed subject, he would not be justified in walking away without taking action. That deputy was being paid, just as the security guard was, to be highly visible and to be alert to his surroundings in order to detect potential crimes or persons in need. By the act of being in uniform, the deputy assumes this responsibility and thus is blanketed in the assumption of all things being considered in his offical capacities.

This assumption is very much a double edged sword, causing many a police officer to be held to a higher standard for actions that would otherwise be less harshly judged of a layperson. But short of this deputy putting on his uniform on his day off, and going to the IRS office explicitly for the purpose of being seen by the staff as an LEO (a far fetched scenario that is obviously not the case here) the deputy is in his official police capacities (period).

Even in the event that a police officer is actively committing a crime (an astronomicaly rare but unfortunately possible situation) they are still blanketed by the assumption of offical duties.

Police officers are allowed to, and in many situations are encouraged by their department to, conduct personal business while working. Having a police officer attend a child's school function, ask a personal question of a local business, and certainly eat a meal both allows public interaction with LEO's in a positive manner as well as providing visibility in a highly positive manner. Agencies will obviously put parameters on these actions (within good taste and being prudent with ammount of time and timeframes) such to maintain an ammount of necessary control. But asking a question of a government office while on duty is hardly a outrageous act. At most this could potentially be a infringement of a department level policy, but certainly not unlawful. And this NEVER impacts the officers duty status!

Finally, a word on security guards. Just as Sworn Police Officers are villianized by, well, pretty much everyone under the sun, so are security personnel the focus of many an unearned condemnation. Let's not forget that this is a group of people who do a lot of good work, and as LEO's we should be a little careful not to paint with the same broad brush that has to often been used to depict us in a negative light.

Musicray
Musicray

Hope they get rid of the security guard... some of those guys are dangerous!

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

Is there such a thing as a "gun free zone" that applies to cops as well and is this one of those cases? i would think not. An IRS office is not something involving national security. An airport, nuclear facility, or controlled area, I can understand, but I want to know if the security guard was instructed to let no guns, even on cops to enter. His actions should get his charged, and fired which I'm sure is already in the process, but the internet is real fuzzy on where on duty cops can carry.

PhillyBlue
PhillyBlue

The guard was an idiot for drawing down on a uniformed officer. As a fed LEO I know some facilities require local PD to lock their firearms in a lock box while inside the building conducting business. I'm not too familiar with IRS policies but if the guard informed the officer he couldn't be armed inside the building he should've just returned another time and not disregard the guards warnings, so both the officer and the guard should've used a little better judgement. Personally I think it's stupid to have local LEO disarm while in the buildings but each agency has their own rules when it comes to this

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

I think Seth was trying to aim below Alan's vest so that if Alan made a move that forced Seth to make a split second decision in rapidly changing circumstances then Alan wouldn't come up shooting after the first volley.Seth had to be prepared to stop the threat -- not an easy thing when the detainee is wearing body armor!

Yell2017
Yell2017

Gun free zones do not apply to cops. Why does security guard have one.

What the hell is this country coming to?

Lochemet
Lochemet

What law did Gaston (the LEO) actually break. The article doesn't give any other information except that he was informed by the security guard that he couldn't come in with his weapon on him, and according to the article he turned and walked out. Just because someone called the Police and told them a man came in with a gun and refused to leave doesn't mean that that report was true. There are a lot of assumptions in the comments and many quoting and reprinting what the law states, and many defending the security guard and many saying the LEO was wrong, etc., etc. But again, according to the article there is no indication that a law was actually broken by Gaston. If he did just leave, then you can't do better than that. The security guard pulled a gun on someone without legal justification. And to do it on a LEO?? Either he had an issue with LE, or he just wanted to flex his security muscles, I don't know. But we are supposed to be on the same side - both LE and private security, no? Maybe I missed something in the article, but those are my observations.