Looks like there’s no saving Screech from the prison bell. After almost a year after the incident that landed him in hot water, actor Dustin Diamond will begin his short prison sentence in January.
Last Christmas, Dustin Diamond reportedly had an altercation with a man at a local bar in Port Washington, Wisconsin. Diamond and his girlfriend, were attending a bar on Christmas Day of last year, when the other patrons apparently recognized Diamond for his work on Saved By The Bell. While some fans were taking pictures with Diamond and shaking his hand, apparently other guests of the bar grew increasingly annoyed and angered by Screech’s presence.
At some point, an altercation began at the bar and Dustin Diamond felt the need to protect both himself and his partner. Diamond apparently brandished a pocket knife he had on his person in an attempt to frighten off the assailant. There were also reports that Diamond’s girlfriend was punched in the face, which helped to escalate the conflict, and Diamond’s reaction. While originally attempting to scare away the troublemakers, his weapon eventually ended up harming a patron named Casey Smet.
Original rumors reported that Casey Smet has been killed by Dustin Diamond during the confrontation, which turned out to be false. Indeed, Smet said in his testimony that he didn’t even realize he was cut until after the confrontation ended.
Dustin Diamond has been convicted of carrying a concealed weapon, as well as disorderly conduct regarding this confrontation, and will be facing a four-month prison sentence for his crimes. Both of these charges are technically misdemeanors, and it is likely that, with good behavior, Diamond may not have to serve the duration of his penalty.
The 38 year old actor first came into the spotlight with his performance as Screech in 90’s sitcom Saved By The Bell. Screech was one of the most beloved characters in the series, with his nerdy and bumbling attempts at coolness, and the heart of fashionista Lisa capturing the hearts of the audience. Dustin Diamond would reprise his role in every incarnation of Saved By The Bell, including both spin-offs and made-for-tv movies. This was also a star-making moment for his co-stars who would all move on to less than ideal careers, with the exception being Mario Lopez.
Saved By The Bell has proven to be Dustin Diamond’s main claim to fame, which he would go onto utilize in whatever way possible. He wrote a semi-fictional memoir Behind The Bell which recounted fabricated experiences on the set of the sitcom, and was adapted for a TV movie. Additionally, he was billed as the star of an adult film called Screeched- Saved By The Smell, once again capitalizing on his following as a child actor. It turned out neither of these were his own work, as Diamond reported he used a ghostwriter and body double respectively.
For once, I don’t think Dustin Diamond especially messed up here. While you should avoid stabbing people as a rule, a pocketknife isn’t exactly a deadly weapon. Then again, if you had any level of celebrity, even Diamond’s E-lister status, you should probably avoid physical altercations in bars. Just a thought.