An IRS security guard in Toledo, Ohio, faces charges after allegedly pulling his gun on a uniformed Lucas County Sheriff’s Deputy. Multiple reports claim the deputy refused to give up his gun, prompting the security officer to draw and aim his weapon.
Security footage captured the odd and potentially deadly scene as it unfolded on May 31 in the IRS office. Deputy Gaston entered the IRS office with questions about a letter he received from the IRS, according to abcnews.go.com. That’s when the security guard, identified as 33-year-old Seth Eklund, intervened.
IRS Security Guard Draws Sidearm
Eklund allegedly asked Gaston to exit the premises to leave his gun in his vehicle, according to abcnews.go.com. But Gaston said no. Footage shows Gaston shake his head, then calmly turn to leave. That’s when Eklund emerges from out of view, gun drawn, with a bead on the Sheriff’s Deputy.
“‘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 told WTVG,” reported abcnews.go.com.
Footage shows Eklund follow Gaston out to the elevator, gun still drawn. There, with gun drawn, the security guard puts his hands on the deputy, attempting to take him into custody, according to reports. Gaston, a defensive tactics instructor, shows remarkable calm, simply walking away to help deescalate the situation.
“Asked if he had a message for Eklund, Gaston said, “‘I would say, ‘Clearly your training is lacking and the fact that you went from 0 to 100. Lethal force is unacceptable,’” reported abcnews.go.com.
Local Toledo Police eventually respond to the scene, responding to a 911 call reporting a man with a gun. However, the call failed to mention a uniformed officer, according to the video.
Gaston filed a civil suit against the security guard and the security company. It claims mental anguish and lost wages, according to abcnews.go.com.
Do you think the deputy acted appropriately? In the deputy’s position, how would you have responded the IRS security guard’s actions?? Share your answers in the comment section.
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Stupid Ass Security,,, Here is an example of someone who was hired and probably follows orders but has no walking around sense what so ever…. Damn…
That security idiot is lucky he’s only facing one charge and the sheriff was a calm professional. The security officer could have been legally shot for his stupidity with his weapon. Who ever called 911 basically lied about what was actually going on there , lucky the responding officers were also calm and professional as well.
The guy was doing what he was hired to do. Perhaps not the brightest bulb in the box, but the deputy should have followed directions just like he demands that anyone do when he pulls his gun. The entire incident could have been avoided. i think the deputy let his ego control hos actions.
Amazing what “rent-a-cops” think they have the power to do!
Longhaired Redneck says
An on-duty, sworn, LEO has no reason or requirement to disarm on the orders of a rent-a-cop. Barney needs a little time out in the woodshed (redneck reeducation camp) in order to have his head screwed on a little tighter.
Jimbob Maffrews says
Federal court houses and and many federal agency offices have policies against firearms on the premises, including we LEO’s. It’s clearly marked at every single one I’ve seen. Just because you wear a badge doesn’t make you immune from those protocols.
The deputy arrived to conduct personal business, obviously about tax issues, wearing a uniform to ask questions about tax issues, which is likely why he was there. That alone is reason for him being suspended. Having a firearm where it’s prohibited by federal law, that’s just plain ignorant and is criminal.
The security guard should have handled it more diplomatically by keeping the situation calm and calling for other security personnel, maybe even a supervisor, to try to reason the LEO into securing his weapon in his vehicle or in a LE lock box, which most facilities have.
Dumb + Dumb = STUPID and UNNECESSARY.
Deputy was instructed to leave and he complied and tried to leave!
That was when Barney Fife blocked his exit even keeping the elevator doors from closing.
I mean what more could the Deputy do?
Department protocol would not allow the Deputy to loose custodial possession of his service weapon.
I’d like to add, the IRS Employees are totally in the wrong for not identifying to 911 that the person in question was a local LEO. There is a reason for the uniforms they wear.
Purposely not providing pertinent information to the 911 Operator in and of itself is negligent at the least and pretty much 100% irresponsible.
And what would have happened if this was a civilian with a carry license and he tried too leave, Barney Fife would have shot him!
Yes, it is against the law to carry a weapon into a Federal Building, but it is a fine as punishment, not a death sentence.
I’m not a big fan of people suing, but in this case I’d like to see Barney Fife and his employer taken to the cleaners on this one.
What?! The deputy tried to leave, and he was within his rights to do so.
Mike feroglia says
Stupid ass deputy thinks he’s above the law as usual!
Gary A says
Good thing one of them was trained . Too bad that the IRS has to hire a security company you would think they would use local law enforcement guess that might make sense.
If I understand correctly, the deputy is a sworn law enforcement officer and the IRS guy is a contractor (rent-a-cop) not sworn. The deputy conducted himself well by not reacting to what was a threat to his life. The contractor should not be allowed to have a firearm since he doesn’t understand the proper use of one.
This has several details lacking in the narrative. Is it an Exclusive Jurisdiction or a Concurrent Jurisdiction? If it is a Concurrent Jurisdiction; the Deputy can enter in uniform and armed without an issue – his Department has as much jurisdiction as the Federal and the Security Service.
IF that was an Exclusive Federal Facility, the Deputy has NO authority to enter in uniform and armed to just ask a personal question.
IF he was to testify in a official capacity on a case, he MIGHT be allowed inside in uniform and armed.
In most cases local PD / Sheriffs must surrender their weapons to the Federal Police or Marshalls Service when entering any Federal Courthouse or other Exclusive Jurisdiction Federal facility.
I spent 18 years in such a position, with both a Federal Courthouse and a Federal Office Building. That was one each of both types of jurisdictions. Those were the policies in effect per General Services Administration, Federal Protective Service, and the Title 18 Building Rules and Regulations.
All facts, but the deputy was trying to leave, there was no reason for the security officer to draw his weapon and point it at the deputy.
Rev. Stephan Mattsen says
To quote Officer William Schmitz, who taught me my first CCW, and use of force classes, etc.: “Deadly force may only be used to stop the threat.” Also he said that, once the threat has stopped there is NO justification for deadly force.
The deputy turned his back and walked away, intending to leave the premises. The security guard POINTED HIS WEAPON AT THE OFFICER’S BACK and followed him in an attempt to prevent the officer from leaving.
In my area citizens with a CCW cannot carry in the court house, jail, polling place, etc. Police officers, on the other hand, can and do carry their weapons. The man was in full uniform. Common sense would dictate that he had the right to carry. Instead of demanding that right he complied by trying to leave.
His compliance resulted in having a firearm POINTED AT HIS BACK. The officer has the right (I would go so far to say, the responsibility) to sue the guard and his employer.
A legal case could be made that the guard assaulted the officer with the threat of deadly force, and was guilty of brandishing a firearm.
I am firmly on the side of the police officer. The guard went immediately from condition white to condition red. He clearly should not be allowed to carry a firearm.
Give a brain dead a gun and make him a Security guard. 1st of all the Law Enforcement officer didn’t have to give up his gun, The security Guard won’t be having his gun much longer after it goes to the judge. The security guard should consider himself lucky, the Deputy would have been in his rights to shoot him.
Rat Bastard says
Ok, I can understand the security guard being charged with aggravated menacing , but Gaston suing for mental anguish lost wages ? Was Gaston on duty ? If so he’s getting paid and conducting personal business on the tax payers dime. Lost wages ? If off duty ,no lost wages . Mental anguish ? He’s a professional law enforcement officer and instructor . He was definitely cool as a cucumber and handled the situation well. What’s next PTSD? Sounds like BS lawsuit time . IRS needs to spend some of the ill gotten moneys on better security .
Ok so I’m not only observing the stupidity in the security officer drawing a gun on a law enforcement officer being a deputy but also he called more law enforcement officers with additional guns to help him! I mean what did the security officer expect to happen? What a moron, “uhm yeah I got this guy here with a gun you won’t leave”. BTW he is a deputy whom outranks the security guard and city police as he is hired by the sheriff whom is an elected official by the people.
And Plumbob, that’s the same logic as the Starbucks coffee shop employees chasing off police officers for having guns, then when the robber walks in to rob the place, they expect the police to come back and protect their lives and risk his own! I don’t know where you received your logic at but that is overwhelmingly wrong.
Jimmy Maffrews says
It’s important to remember that not even a sworn officer, deputy, or even a sheriff is exempt from possessing a firearm in a space deemed a firearms-free zone, when that zone is a federal building or space leased or rented by a federal entity, if it is clearly marked that weapons are prohibited.
Honestly, I’ve NEVER met another cop who didn’t know that, and this guy showed-up, in uniform and on-duty, to inquire about PERSONAL tax issues (ie. the letter), which is why he was suspended and why he is seeking loss of income.
The security guard totallyover-reacted, but the LEO created a situation that he shouldn’t have, so he’s no innocent. You can say he’s a cop all you want, but he is not exempt from weapons-free zones like that one, unless a judge specifically authorizes him to possess his duty weapon.
Look at the big picture, a a short video clip cannot convey what truly happened.
The LEO is a moron for creating the issue to begin with. Contact the agency and get a copy of the internal investigation addressing is misconduct.