PORT WASHINGTON, Wis. » A woman testified Thursday that she punched TV actor Dustin Diamond’s girlfriend in the face during a bar fight in Wisconsin, just moments before someone yelled that Diamond had a knife.
The 38-year-old Diamond, who played Screech in the 1990s show "Saved by the Bell," is accused of stabbing a man during a barroom brawl on Christmas Day in Port Washington, about 25 miles north of Milwaukee. Diamond has pleaded not guilty to recklessly endangering public safety. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison.
Bethany Ward, 25, testified Thursday that she punched Diamond’s girlfriend, Amanda Schutz, after an altercation at the bar in December. Ward said Schutz pushed her cousin after her cousin took selfie photos with Diamond and Ward in the background. When Ward tried to escort Schutz away from her cousin after the altercation, Schutz grabbed Ward’s hand, she testified.
"I told her to let go. I said, ‘Let go,’ a few times," Ward told jurors. "She didn’t let go, so I hit her in the face."
Ward said she stepped back and more fighting broke out around her. Ward said she didn’t see Diamond pull the knife, but that she heard a shouted warning that the actor had one out.
Other witnesses testified Thursday that they saw Diamond take out his knife on the night of the brawl, though none said they saw him stab another man.
The hearing wrapped up Thursday morning, and additional testimony was expected to take place Friday morning.
The man who was stabbed, Casey Smet, also testified Thursday, saying he didn’t know he had been stabbed until after he left the bar and was talking to police. The 25-year-old said he and Diamond fought at the bar, but he couldn’t remember why.
Jurors were shown police body-camera video taken the night of the fight that shows Smet telling officers he didn’t know the name of the man who stabbed him, but could point him out. The recording shows Smet lifting his right arm, revealing a bleeding cut on this abdomen.
A prosecutor also presented a bloodstained T-shirt and sweater, along with a sliced coat all worn by Smet the night of the brawl. The prosecutor also presented Diamond’s switchblade knife, which he said Diamond used to stab Smet.
"Before the altercation, I was not bleeding or stabbed. After the altercation, I was," Smet testified.
Diamond’s defense attorney has maintained that no one saw Diamond stab Smet and footage of the altercation between the two men is too murky to confirm the allegation. Diamond is expected to testify Friday.