TODAY   |  June 20, 2012

Alec Baldwin scuffles with photographer

The actor grabbed and shoved a New York Daily News photographer Tuesday morning after emerging from the marriage license bureau with fiancé Hilaria Thomas. The photographer also alleges Baldwin punched him and threatened to knock his teeth out. NBC’s Craig Melvin reports.

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>>> we begin this half hour with new trouble for alec baldwin . a new york city photographer filed with police accusing him of assault. there are photographs of the incident. craig has details. good morning.

>> reporter: alec and his bride-to-be leaving the license bureau tuesday morning. they leave. photographers here waiting to snap the picture. what happened after that is in dispute. this much we do know. what should have been a beautiful, happy day quickly turned ugly. visibly angry he grabbed, shoved, glared at a new york city news photographer tuesday morning. the 58-year-old actor and 28-year-old girlfriend hilaria thomas had reportedly picked up their marriage license when they met photographers on the sidewalk. then marcos santos claims the " 30 rock " star punched him in the face, threatened to knock his teeth out and walked off. shortly after the incident baldwin launch add tirade on twitter tweeting, "all paparazzi should be waterboarded." then in a reference to trayvon martin, i suppose if the paparazzi wore a hoodie and i shot him it would blow over. issued a statement saying the photographer was annoyed when someone tried block. he said any contact was baldwin trying to protect himself. he filed a claim with nypd. investigators and prosecutors are considering criminal charges.

>> the obvious charge is assault. a lot of times in new york, that would get downgraded to disorderly conduct as long as there's not substantial injury or intent to cause harm.

>> reporter: legal experts say prosecutors could also consider prior bad acts and baldwin 's temper made headlines before. in 2010 he reportedly got into with a new york paparazzo outside his central park west home. in 1995 baldwin was ordered to pay $4500 to a celebrity photographer in california who alleged baldwin attacked him after he snapped a picture of baldwin , his then wife kim basinger and their newborn daughter. most recently.

>> what happened with flight attendant and american airlines .

>> the star was booted off a flight when he was asked to get off his ipad. just last week emmy winner told the correspondent he was in a good place.

>> he was with his fiancee. she's a yoga instructor. he talked about being more healthy, taking on yoga, changing his lifestyle. he seemed very good at the time.

>> reporter: after his encounter at city hall baldwin continued his string of unusual behavior tuesday afternoon. according to daily news he was seen on camera covering himself with a white bedding sheet as he walked into the regency hotel in manhattan. no surprise baldwin took to twitter yesterday afternoon into the evening using it as a vehicle to defend himself claiming no one punched anyone. at this point no word on what officials might decide whether to prosecute. ann.

>> all right. craig melvin, thank you so much. once again, here is matt.

>> ann, thank you so much.