U-Haul driver has criminal past

In this frame grab from the deputy's car, U-Haul driver Ricky Anthony Jennings walks toward Deputy Kim Poirer's cruiser.

When police officers confronted him for cashing fake checks, Ricky Anthony Jennings refused to go easily.

He pulled out a device that looked like a cellphone and jabbed it into one of the officers, sending an electric jolt into the lawman. The police matched his move and used a Taser to subdue him.

In Jennings’ van, investigators later found three driver’s licenses with his picture but someone else’s name.

That run-in five years ago in Georgia sent Jennings to state and federal prisons.

Less than two months after he was freed, the 52-year-old’s confrontation with a Charleston County Sheriff’s Office deputy Sunday shared similarities with the incident that landed him behind bars in the first place.

He’s accused of failing to stop his U-Haul truck for the deputy near McClellanville, then trying to run away. In a scuffle, the deputy shocked him with a Taser and shot him when he reached into his pocket, authorities said. Investigators again found him carrying an Oklahoma driver’s license with another man’s name on it.

Jennings’ criminal past was unearthed Thursday after deputies and agents from the State Law Enforcement Division used fingerprints to reveal his true identity.

They said his last address was in Sugarland, Texas.

He continued to recover from two bullet wounds as he was listed in stable condition in a Myrtle Beach hospital, sheriff’s Maj. Jim Brady said.

Charleston County deputies expect to charge Jennings with counts of reckless driving and failure to stop for blue lights. He also faces charges of resisting arrest and first-degree assault in Georgetown County, the site of his alleged tussle with Deputy Kim Poirer.

Poirer responded to a 911 call Sunday afternoon about a possible drunken driver. When Poirer tried to stop Jennings’ U-Haul on northbound U.S. Highway 17, he led the deputy on a 3-mile pursuit into Georgetown County, deputies said.

The truck pulled onto a dirt street near the North Santee River. Its driver got out and walked toward Poirer, according to a video taken from the deputy’s car.

After Poirer pointed her handgun at him and ordered him to show his hands, he turned around and walked away, the video showed. Poirer ran after him.

Poirer told investigators that she then fought with the man, who grabbed at her weapon. She fired at him several times with a Taser, but he continued to resist her attempts to handcuff him, the Sheriff’s Office said.

After the deputy broke free, she shot him because he was fumbling through his pockets, the Sheriff’s Office said. SLED will determine whether the shooting was warranted.

Jennings was scheduled to serve five years on probation after being released April 17 from a federal prison, where he spent two years for 10 convictions of wire and document fraud.

His sentence stemmed from his arrest in October 2007 in Richmond Hill, Ga. That’s where officers responded to reports that a man wanted for cashing phony checks in Georgia and in South Carolina’s Lowcountry was doing it again.

When the police tried to get his attention outside a bank, he ran. Two officers suffered minor injuries after scuffling and trading electrical shocks with Jennings.

He had been making money by cashing fake checks and using false identities, according to an FBI affidavit. The police found nearly $12,000 of cash in his van.

Deputies in Charleston County have not said what else they found in Jennings’ U-Haul.

Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414.