Alec Baldwin was placed under citizen's arrest Thursday after he allegedly slugged a cameraman who was videotaping the homecoming of the actor's wife, actress Kim Basinger, and their newborn daughter, Los Angeles police said.
Baldwin and Basinger arrived at their hillside home about 12:45 p.m. with their 3-day-old daughter Ireland when they spotted Alan Zanger, a 51-year-old free-lance photographer, parked across the street with his camera rolling, LAPD Lt. Ray Lombardo said.
"Baldwin approached him and basically said. . . . 'I don't mind if you film me, but I don't want you filming the baby,' " Lombardo said.
The two began to argue, and Zanger alleged that Baldwin, 37, punched him in the nose, possibly breaking it, Lombardo said. Zanger "insisted" on placing Baldwin under citizen's arrest for alleged misdemeanor battery, Lombardo said.
Officers took Baldwin to the LAPD's West Valley station and booked him on suspicion of battery, then released him on his own recognizance--standard procedure when a suspect is not being sought by police, Lombardo said.
Zanger is a famed paparazzi photographer who has been attacked with a baseball bat, run off the road and fined thousands of dollars in previous pursuits of the perfect picture.
Baldwin, in a statement released through his publicist, disputed that he had seriously injured Zanger and called the photographer's conduct "unacceptable."
"Anyone with a shred of human decency would understand that there are times in your life when you want your privacy respected, whether you are a public figure or not," Baldwin said in his statement. "I do believe that bringing your wife and 3-day-old baby home from the hospital is one of those occasions."
"That Mr. Zanger felt it was appropriate to videotape my home and my family for his own profit is unacceptable to me," Baldwin's statement continued. "I asked him repeatedly to stop filming us and he refused each request. I dispute his contention that I broke his nose or caused any other facial damage."
"There were no witnesses to this and therefore the police refused to make an arrest. Mr. Zanger then made a citizen's arrest," Baldwin concluded. "I'm sorry for any problems caused and I look forward to Mr. Zanger and I putting this behind us."
Baldwin is the star of "The Hunt for Red October" and "Malice," among other films.
The altercation is but the latest in a series of scuffles between celebrities and the paparazzi who would capture their image.
On Oct. 8, actor Woody Harrelson allegedly hit a cameraman at an airport in West Tisbury, Mass., as he was leaving Martha's Vineyard. Harrelson was angry that his wife and 2-year-old daughter were being photographed, police said. No charges were filed and no injuries were reported.
A misdemeanor assault charge against Robert De Niro was dropped this month after a cameraman told prosecutors he wasn't hurt in a confrontation with the actor outside a New York nightclub.