TOLEDO, Ohio – A security guard is facing criminal charges after security footage was released showing the man drawing his weapon on a uniformed sheriff’s deputy.
The deputy posed absolutely zero threat to the guard or anyone inside the building. He was simply running an errand.
And it almost cost him his life.
The incident began on May 31 when Lucas County Sheriff’s deputy Alan Gaston received a letter in the mail from the IRS. Wanting to ask some questions about the letter, he went down to 4 Seagate in Toledo to the IRS office.
Deputy Gaston said that he was on duty at the time, pulling up to the building in his marked cruiser and walking inside dressed in his uniform.
Apparently the sight of another armed man caused the security guard change into Action Jack, because he immediately told the deputy that he could not be armed inside the building. He reportedly asked Gaston to return to his car to store his service weapon.
We all know that being unarmed is a violation for officers that are on duty. Taking off his weapon places the deputy and every single civilian in jeopardy.
Gaston then told the guard he couldn’t remove his weapon, and turned around to walk toward the elevator.
That’s when the security guard draws his own sidearm and points it directly at the deputy’s back. Security footage captures the entire incident on camera as the armed guard follows Deputy Gaston through the building. Gaston was shocked that he had found himself with a loaded gun focused on him. The footage shows the guard’s finger on the trigger.
Gaston said he recalls that exact moment and the fear that arose.
“Basically preparing myself to be shot at that moment. Bracing for a shot in my back,” said Gaston. “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.”
Gaston has a specialty in the field of defensive tactics. Believing that walking away was the best way to de-escalate the situation, he continued to attempt to leave. He said his biggest concern, other than being shot by an untrained guard, was the danger that was posed to the other people inside the building.
“If I’m going to get shot, like I thought I was, it’s not fair. They came in there to do their business,” said Gaston.
Gaston eventually was able to get out of the building without further incident. A 911 call was made from someone inside the office and a group of Toledo police arrived on scene. But oddly enough, the caller didn’t mention that the armed person was a uniformed deputy — only that the security guard had to draw his weapon on an armed man.
What a mess. Security Officer Rambo needs to relax.
Check out the video below.
Gaston has now filed a civil suit against the security guard and the security agency for his actions. The guard was identified as Seth Eklund.
When asked if he had a message for Eklund, Gaston said, “I would say ‘Clearly your training is lacking and the fact that you went 0 to 100. Lethal force is unacceptable.”
Eklund is facing charges of aggravated menacing. He’s due in court next week.
Deputy Gaston is currently on paid medical leave from the Lucas County Sheriff’s department.