June 20, 2012 at 8:19 AM ET
Alec Baldwin's war with the paparazzi reached new heights Tuesday following an alleged assault on a photographer outside New York City's Marriage License Bureau -- and according to a report by TODAY's Craig Melvin, criminal charges are being considered by prosecutors and investigators.
Daily News photographer Marcus Santos says Baldwin reportedly punched him in the face and threatened to knock his teeth out, then walked away.
But a spokesperson for Baldwin put the blame on the paparazzo, saying the photographer was annoyed when someone blocked his shot of Baldwin and fiancee Hilaria Thomas and the photographer ".... pushed past the bystanders and assaulted Alec with his camera. There were no punches thrown, and any subsequent physical contact was simply Alec protecting himself.”
Santos filed an assault complaint with police on Tuesday afternoon, and according to a Twitter post from Baldwin, may have sought medical attention as well: "The photographer who assaulted me has (belatedly) gone to a hospital claiming injuries," the actor tweeted.
"The obvious charge is assault," said lawyer Karen DeSoto. "A lot of times in New York that will get downgraded to disorderly conduct as long as there is not substantial injury or intent to cause harm."
Later on Tuesday, Baldwin was seen shielding himself from scrutiny as he walked into New York's Regency Hotel wearing a bedsheet, but continued taking to his Twitter account.
"Ppl working in the entertainment industry keep appts w the press on a regular basis," he tweeted. "Paparazzi assaulting you on the street duznt count." Later, he added, "It's sad w the tabloid press. They attempt 2 provoke an incident + when it doesn't pan out, they say u did it anyway... #no1punchedany1"