Dustin Diamond is set to start his four-month jail sentence in January, People Magazine reports.
The 38-year-old actor, best known for his role as Samuel “Screech” Powers on the 90’s teen comedy Saved by the Bell, which ran from 1989 to 1993, was sentenced to four months in jail in June for stabbing a man during a brawl at the Grand Avenue Saloon in Port Washington, Wisconsin, which is approximately 25 miles north of Milwaukee. The incident took place on Christmas Day in 2014. Diamond was convicted in May, 2014, of two misdemeanors in connection with the fight: carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct. The felony charge of recklessly endangering public safety was dropped. Diamond’s fiancée, Amanda Schutz, was also arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, but she was later released.
According to the entertainment news site, the brawl broke out after a woman allegedly bumped into Diamond’s girlfriend, who was seated at the bar. The group was reportedly intoxicated and recognized Diamond from Saved by the Bell. Amanda, Diamond said, was just trying to get them to stop taking pictures. Dustin said he pulled the switchblade knife to protect Schultz after he saw her bleeding and two men holding her by the hair, but he did not intentionally point it at, or try to stab, anyone.
“Diamond stated that he did not intentionally stab the individual in the bar but that chaos broke out and people were grabbing at him and that he swung his arms to break free,” the arrest report stated, according to CNN.
The man, who Diamond reportedly stabbed with the “stiletto folding knife with a 3.75-inch blade, which uses a thumb stud and assisted opening mechanism,” testified in court that he didn’t even realize he had been stabbed until he left to go home.
“Before the altercation, I was not bleeding or stabbed. After the altercation, I was,” he said of the non-life threatening wound.
Diamond later issued a statement apologizing to everyone involved for his actions on that night. He added that the incident was “terrifying” and is the only thing he has been able to think about since it happened.
“I sincerely apologize to everyone involved,” Diamond said during the June hearing. “This was the single most terrifying experience of my life… This is all I’ve been able to think about for the last six months.”
Following Dustin Diamond’s conviction, he was sentenced to 60 days in jail for each misdemeanor charge. On Wednesday, December 16, the actor appeared in the Ozaukee County court, along with his attorney, Daniel Fay, to drop the appeal to his conviction he had made earlier this year. He is scheduled to start his sentence, which will include work release, after the New Year on January 15. He was also ordered to pay $1,500 in restitution to the stabbing victim, according to Reuters, reported via Yahoo News.
— Nothing But The 90s™ (@NBT90s) July 5, 2015
According to Diamond’s attorney, Thomas Alberti, Dustin and Amanda had moved to Wisconsin to start a family, and thought the location would be nice to avoid their “notoriety.” The couple decided to go out on Christmas, planning on having a good time, only to find themselves in handcuffs.
“They moved to Wisconsin because they wanted to have a family,” Alberti said. “They felt Wisconsin would be somewhere they wouldn’t have to deal with their notoriety. They decided at Christmas to go out and then this all happened.”
[Photo by Dana Ferguson/Associated Press]