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 (202)
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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

No. 26-50
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!!