The security guard who pulled a gun on a sheriff’s deputy at a local IRS office pleaded not guilty to one charge of aggravated menacing on Monday.
The Lucas County Sheriff's Deputy is still trying to wrap his head around the incident, which began when he went to 4 Seagate to ask a question at the IRS office.
Alan Gaston entered the IRS office on May 31, 2019, in full uniform, his badge and firearm clearly visible.
He stated that he was on duty at the time, and had stopped by the office to request for a phone number because he needed to ask about a letter he had received from the IRS. The guard told him that he needed to leave the gun in his car, but Gaston maintained that he couldn’t. Shortly after, he had a gun pointed at his back.
Gaston stated: "Basically preparing myself to be shot at that moment. Bracing for a shot in my back."
The entire incident was caught on security cameras, which showed the guard following Gaston to the elevator with the gun still pointed at him, the guard’s finger seemingly very close to the trigger. The guard tried to take Gaston into custody, the gun still drawn.
"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 stated.
Gaston, who works as a defensive tactics instructor, stated that he believed the best way to de-escalate the situation was to walk away.
Toledo police were eventually called in, but the caller never told 911that the man with the gun was a uniformed sheriff’s deputy.
Gaston was mainly concerned that the incident unfolded when other people were in the office.
"If I'm going to get shot, like I thought I was, it's not fair. They came in there to do their business," he said.
Gaston and his wife have filed a civil lawsuit against Seth Eklund, the security guard, and the security company. They are seeking compensation for Gaston’s emotion and psychological distress stemming from the incident, as well as lost wages.
Gaston is currently on medical leave, and has a message for Eklund. "I would say ‘Clearly your training is lacking and the fact that you went 0 to 100. Lethal force is unacceptable.’"
Sources: 13 ABC Action News