An internet meme has Saved by the Bell actor Dustin Diamond, who played comic relief Screech on the show, up on murder charges for a stabbing at a bar during the holidays. This meme is only partially correct, in that Diamond is up on charges stemming from a bar brawl and an alleged stabbing, but not for murder. Once you’ve gotten the images of Screech all grown up and in a bar fight out of your head and return from Saved by the Bell land, let’s look at the facts.
The hoax was busted by Snopes and reported in the International Business Times. There was a bar fight over Christmas, it did involve the Saved by the Bell actor, and there was an alleged stabbing. There was, however, no murder and no charge of murder or anything related to it. The Inquisitr reported on the assault and related charges shortly after they were levied.
A criminal complaint was filed against Dustin Diamond at a Wisconsin court for second-degree reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct, and carrying a concealed weapon. The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reports that Diamond told police officers he accidentally stabbed someone while trying to defend his girlfriend, Amanda Schutz, from two men and a woman at a bar on Christmas Day. The knife, variously described as a “switchblade” and a “pocket knife,” was later recovered from the Saved by the Bell star’s car.
Surveillance video from the altercation showed the scene as Dustin Diamond took the bill from the bar and signed it. He then turned as his girlfriend, Shutz, screamed.
“He turned around and saw she was bleeding and two men were holding her back. He intervened,” said a police officer in court testimony on Monday, according to Fox 6 Now.
At that point, Diamond made his way towards the group and was confronted by another person, who shoved him from the chest. That man, Casey Smith, tried to push Diamond away from the fight. From there, it’s unclear as to what exactly happened next. Witnesses and the video say, as the chaotic scene unfolded, that Diamond may have attempted to punch Smith and it wasn’t until after the fight had broken up and Diamond and Schultz had left that Smith called for paramedics after noting the stab wound.
No one saw the stabbing, which Diamond has admitted to, but claims was in self-defense. The worst evidence against the Saved by the Bell star so far are his own words and his coverup of the fact that it was a knife he used.
In Monday’s hearing, the judge ordered Dustin re-appear in court on January 22 for a plea hearing. The comedian is out on $10,000 bail and allowed to travel for work.