02:03 - Source: WTMJ
Judge sends 'Screech' to prison

Story highlights

Dustin Diamond, who played Screech on "Saved by the Bell," apologizes for stabbing

Diamond said he was acting to protect his girlfriend

A jury convicted actor on two misdemeanor charges in connection with brawl

CNN —  

Former child star Dustin Diamond was sentenced to four months in jail Thursday for stabbing a man during a Christmas Day bar fight in Wisconsin.

Diamond, 38, who played the nerdy “Screech” in the 1990s sitcom “Saved by the Bell,” apologized for his actions on “a night that centers around celebrating peace and love.”

“I want it to be clear that this situation will be not repeated again,” he told the court, calling the fight the “single most terrifying experience of my entire life.”

But Judge Paul Malloy sentenced him to 120 days in jail and ordered him to pay more than $1,000 in restitution to “send a message to the community that we’re just not going to live like this.”

A jury last month found the actor not guilty of a felony count but convicted him on two misdemeanor charges in connection with the brawl, according to court documents.

The Wisconsin jury determined that Diamond did not recklessly endanger safety, but he carried a concealed weapon and behaved in a disorderly manner.

The altercation occurred at the Grand Avenue Saloon in Port Washington.

Diamond and his girlfriend, Amanda Schutz were inside the bar when a group of intoxicated people started behaving in a rude and insulting manner, leading him to believe “there was going to be a brawl,” he said, according to the arrest report at the time.

He said he turned to close his account and get their coats, but when he looked back, his girlfriend was bleeding and two men were holding her hair, the report said.

Diamond said he moved toward his girlfriend when a man grabbed him, the report said. Diamond said he might have stabbed the man with a pen used to sign a credit card receipt but later conceded he was armed with the knife, the report said.

“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 report stated.

The man identified as the stabbing victim told police he didn’t see a knife or initially feel being cut. Police said the wound was not life-threatening.

Diamond appeared on “Saved by the Bell” as awkward nerd Samuel “Screech” Powers from 1989 to 1993, and later appeared in spinoffs of the hit show.

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CNN’s Ralph Ellis, Ben Brumfield, Tony Marco and Chuck Johnston contributed to this report.