Report: Man wanted for suspicious fire attempts to hide in bingo parlor

Published: Nov. 20, 2013 at 2:32 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 20, 2013 at 9:32 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Officials with the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office say a man wanted in connection to a suspicious fire was found hiding in a bingo parlor in Summerville on Tuesday.

Investigators charged 32-year-old Jessie James Jennings and 26-year-old Lea Renae Miller with trespassing, negligently allowing a fire to damage land or property of another and public disorderly conudct.

On Tuesday night, a deputy was in the area of College Park Road patrolling for possible suspects related to a suspicious structure fire on 633 Myer's Rd. near Highway 176 that happened earlier that night.

The deputy said he was flagged down by a concerned citizen that said a man and a woman who were seen leaving the scene of the fire were spotted at the Music in Motion Bingo at 1341 College Park Rd.

When the deputy arrived at the location, another deputy told him he had Miller in custody and Jennings was hiding in the bathroom of the bingo parlor. The deputy said when he entered the bathroom and identified himself as a deputy, he heard a bathroom door lock and someone moving in the stall.

Authorities say Jennings ignored verbal commands from the deputy and proceeded to flush the toilet. The deputy said when he forced the door open, he found Jennings stuffing a plastic grocery bag into his pants.

The deputy reported that Miller, who was in the parking lot, became "very loud and boisterous" and at that time was placed under arrest for public disorderly conduct.

Jennings was initially arrested for public disorderly conduct for interrupting the bingo game that was going on at the business as he tried to escape law enforcement, deputies say.

Emergency officials with the Pine Ridge Fire Department said the suspicious fire happened at a two-story structure fire in the area of Myers Road and Highway 17A.

The two-story garage was fully engulfed in flames when fire fighters arrived. Crews were able to quickly put out the fire and no one was hurt.

Copyright 2013 WCSC. All rights reserved.