Dustin Diamond, famed for playing Samuel “Screech” Powers on the popular high school sitcom Saved by the Bell, was released from prison on Monday, a month earlier than he was sentenced. Diamond, 39, has spent the last three months in jail after being found guilty of carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct.
Diamond was first arrested on Christmas Day in 2014 after stabbing a man, Casey Smet, during a bar fight at the Grand Ave. Saloon in Port Washington, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. He and his fiancée, Amanda Schutz (who has also been convicted with disorderly conduct), were ordered to pay the man $1,500 in restitution.
FOX6 states that Dustin Diamond was able to get an early release after he accrued 30 days of “good time.” Serving out his sentence at Ozaukee County Jail, Dustin agreed to participate in the “Jail Porter Program” where inmates can receive one day of “good time” for every 24 hours worked. Diamond worked as a general custodial maintenance porter, which saw him clean the jail floors and do the laundry. This enabled him to walk free after serving three months of a four month sentence.
Originally facing much more serious felonies, Dustin Diamond has spent far less time behind bars than what he had feared after being arrested. Shortly after his arrest in 2014, TMZ reported that Diamond was also arrested for reckless endangerment and that he had inflicted a half-inch wound under the armpit of the man after getting into an argument. The owner of the bar stated that the argument stemmed over photos that were being taken of Diamond, whilst Dustin claimed self defense and that he and his girlfriend were attacked in the bar.
“I felt like we were being set up for antagonistic purposes.”
The Daily Mail reports that after Diamond had shaken hands and posed for photos with patrons from the bar, a fight broke out which saw his girlfriend punched in the face. Dustin “Screech” Diamond then took out a pocket knife in an attempt to scare the group off, but the actor claims that he never meant to stab anybody. Smet admitted that he did not know that he had been stabbed during the incident until speaking to police outside of the bar.
Dustin Diamond is synonymous with his character Samuel “Screech” Powers from Saved by the Bell, and is one of just two characters that remained in the franchise from the beginning to the end. As the key comedic outlet for the popular show, Diamond is considered somewhat to be the face of the franchise and arguably the most popular and memorable character.
Although the popularity of the show rapidly declined, the original series proved to be immensely popular and is now considered one of the biggest TV shows of the 90s. Diamond starred alongside Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Lark Voorhies, Dennis Haskins, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, and Mario Lopez between 1989 and 1993.
The show then spawned two spin-off series; Saved by the Bell: The College Years (1993-1994) and Saved by the Bell: The New Class (1993-2000). With the friendly and loveable Screech as his best known role, it came as a huge shock for many to learn that Diamond had been arrested and involved in a bar brawl.
Since Saved by the Bell, Dustin Diamond embarked on a stand-up career and appeared on a handful of game and reality television programs. Diamond also shocked fans of the show in 2006 when he directed and released a sex tape titled Screeched – Saved by the Smell (he later admitted that a stunt double was used in the tape.)
[Photo by Uncredited/AP Images]