Seth Eklund: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Seth Eklund was a security guard at an IRS building in Toledo, Ohio who is facing charges for allegedly pointing a gun at a Lucas County Sheriff’s Deputy, Alan Gaston.

Eklund, 33, entered a not guilty plea to aggravated menace during his first court appearance Monday.

Eklund, who is white, pointed the gun at Gaston, who is black, and followed him out of the building, surveillance footage appeared to show. Gaston told local reporters he was bracing himself to be shot in the back.

“Basically preparing myself to be shot at that moment. Bracing for a shot in my back,” Gaston told WTVG.

Gaston was at the building in full uniform May 31 to run an errand at the IRS office, hoping to get a phone number regarding a letter he received in the mail from the IRS. Instead, he told local reporters, he had a gun pointed at him. Gaston said Eklund asked him to put his gun in his car. Gaston said he could not because he was on duty as a sheriff’s deputy. The incident was caught on surveillance footage.

The footage appears to show a brief, peaceful conversation with Gaston. Gaston turned to leave, and Eklund appears to draw his gun, pointing it directly at Alan Gaston’s back as the sheriff’s deputy turns to leave. Eklund followed Gaston to the elevator and attempted to take him into custody. Toledo Police responded after a 911 caller said there was a man in the building with a gun who wouldn’t leave. The caller did not say the person was a sheriff’s deputy.

“I would say ‘Clearly your training is lacking and the fact that you went 0 to 100. Lethal force is unacceptable,” Gaston told WTVG.

Seth Eklund was a security guard at the IRS in the 4 Seagate building in Toledo, Ohio at the time of the incident, according to WTVG.

It is unclear what Eklund’s employment status was after charges were filed.

Alan Gaston and his wife filed a civil lawsuit against Eklund, Paragon Systems, Inc. of Marion, Ohio and Praetorian Shield, Inc. of Cleveland, Ohio, according to court filings.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Seth Eklund Pleaded Not Guilty To Aggravated Menacing

Seth Eklund entered a plea of not guilty to aggravated menacing Tuesday during his first court appearance at the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas.

According to the Ohio crime code, aggravated menacing is typically a first-degree misdemeanor.

The law says, “No person shall knowingly cause another to believe that the offender will cause serious physical harm to the person or property of the other person, the other person’s unborn, or a member of the other person’s immediate family.”

The crime becomes a fifth-degree felony if the defendant is an officer or an employee of child protective services.


2. Seth Eklund Was Caught On Surveillance Footage Pulling a Gun On The Deputy, Reports Said

Surveillance footage appears to show Seth Eklund drawing his gun at the sheriff’s deputy after what looked like a peaceful conversation. Eklund asked Gaston to put his gun back in the car, and Gaston responded that he could not because he was still on duty. Eklund then draws his weapon and points it at Gaston’s back while Gaston turns to leave.

Gaston, a Lucas County Sheriff’s Deputy, was in full uniform with his badge visibly displayed. He stopped by the IRS office to ask for a phone number about a letter he received from the IRS.

Eklund allegedly pulled a gun on the deputy and pointed it at his back as Gaston turned to leave. Gaston told WTVG he thought leaving would deescalate the situation.


3. He Followed the Deputy to the Elevator With Gun Drawn

Surveillance footage appears to show Seth Eklund drawing his gun at the sheriff’s deputy after what looked like a peaceful conversation. Eklund asked Gaston to put his gun back in the car, and Gaston responded that he could not because he was still on duty. Eklund then draws his weapon and points it at Gaston’s back while Gaston turns to leave.

Toledo Police responded to the scene after a person called 911 saying said someone was in the building with a gun and wouldn’t leave. He did not tell dispatchers that person was a sheriff’s deputy in uniform, according to ABC.

“He’s got a gun and he won’t leave,” the caller said, according to WTVG.

Gaston told local reporters he was concerned for everyone else in 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,” Gaston said.


4. Seth Eklund Is Also Being Sued In Civil Court

Alan Gaston and his wife, Michelle, filed a civil lawsuit against Seth Eklund, Paragon Systems, Inc. of Marion, Ohio and Praetorian Shield, Inc. of Cleveland, Ohio, according to court filings.

The suit alleges Gaston suffered emotional and psychological distress and lost wages because of the incident. He is currently on medical leave from the sheriff’s office, according to WTVG.

The court filing indicates the Gastons are represented by Chad M. Tuschman of Toledo, Ohio. The suit was filed June 26.


5. The Sheriff’s Deputy Was Prepared to be Shot in the Back

When Seth Eklund pulled a gun on Lucas County Sheriff’s Deputy Alan Gaston, Gaston told WTVG he was bracing to be shot in the back.

“Basically preparing myself to be shot at that moment. Bracing for a shot in my back,” Gaston said.

Gaston is a defensive tactics instructor and decided to walk away, thinking that was the best way to respond to the situation. Eklund appeared to continue following Gaston with his gun drawn on security footage.

“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,” he said.

He told the news station that the security guard’s response was “unacceptable.”

“I would say ‘Clearly your training is lacking and the fact that you went 0 to 100. Lethal force is unacceptable,” said Gaston.

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