When an on-duty police officer walked into an IRS office, he was immediately greeted by a security guard and the business end of his gun. When the officer tried to walk away to deescalate the situation, the guard attempted to physically detain him. It was then that the guard realized he’d made a huge mistake.
One morning, Lucas County Sheriff’s Deputy Alan Gaston walked into an IRS office in Toledo, Ohio, to get information concerning a letter he’d received. Since he was still on duty, Gaston sported his secured pistol on his belt, just as he is required to do. Unfortunately, the deputy was about to come face-to-face with a misguided security guard.
Police officers must remain armed in order to perform their duties. It has been expected that police officers will carry a firearm at their sides at all times while on the job. Only in recent years has a trend suggested that the ones who are sworn to enforce the law be left without anything with which to successfully enforce it.
Within seconds of walking into the office, Deputy Gaston was met with a firearm pointed straight at him. Security guard Seth Eklund raised his pistol and told Deputy Gaston to disarm himself and leave his weapon in his car because he was now in a gun-free zone. Of course, Gaston calmly informed Eklund that he is a police officer and, as such, he cannot disarm while on duty, according to WTVG.
Fearing for his life, Deputy Gaston quietly articulated to Eklund that he would slowly leave the building. Security footage captured Gaston casually walking out of the office and toward the elevator, where he was followed and once again confronted by Eklund, who still had his pistol drawn. Then, things took a turn for the worse.
After Deputy Gaston pushed the button for the elevator, Eklund approached with his finger near the trigger. Knowing that he could have a bullet in his back at any minute, Gaston again walked away, searching for another exit. It was then that Eklund did the unthinkable, reaching toward the deputy and grabbing at him in a poorly planned attempt to take the officer into custody, according to Blue Lives Matter.
“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.”
Fortunately, Deputy Gaston managed to side-step Eklund and turns to face his aggressor. When an employee saw the situation unfolding and called the police, Gaston’s colleagues, they reported that there’s a man in the building and “he’s got a gun and he won’t leave,” omitting that the armed man was a uniformed officer.
Once police were made aware of the situation, Eklund saw the tables turn. Instead of arresting the deputy, who had acted with integrity, the police charged the security guard with aggravated menacing. However, Gaston’s not about to let the situation go away that easily.
After having a gun pointed at his back and believing that he was going to die, Deputy Gaston is suing Eklund and the security company who employed him for emotional and psychological distress. He is also requesting compensation for lost wages, as he has been forced to take a medical leave from the sheriff’s department.
“I would say ‘Clearly your training is lacking and the fact that you went 0 to 100. Lethal force is unacceptable,” said Gaston.
Deputy Gaston is dealing with the consequences of not only an unprofessional and dangerous security guard but also a “gun-free zone.” According to statistics, the area that boasts “no guns allowed” proves to be a haven for reckless and possibly malicious individuals.
Perhaps the most ridiculous aspect of the case is that an employee called in more police officers with more guns over a police officer having a gun in the building. Of course, almost nothing is surprising anymore.