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By Kat Giantis
Alec Baldwin's already short fuse with the paparazzi tends to shrink even more during significant life events, like back in 1995, when he tussled with a photographer as he returned home from the hospital with then-wife Kim Basinger and their newborn daughter, Ireland.
On Tuesday morning, he reportedly lost his temper after a New York Daily News lensman snapped him exiting the city's Marriage License Bureau with fiancée Hilaria Thomas. According to the paper, the couple had just obtained the paperwork for their upcoming nuptials, which are tipped for the last weekend of June.
Baldwin, 54, unhappy that the shutterbugs were waiting for them, began hollering at them to back up, then purportedly proceeded to mar what's supposed to be a joyous occasion by raising his fists (or, in the words of his "30 Rock" alter ego, Jack Donaghy, he let St. Patrick and St. Michael do his talking for him).
Photographer Marcus Santos claims he was just standing outside the courthouse when the Emmy winner approached wearing "an angry glare."
"He was looking mad," recalled the photog. "He said, 'Step back, step back.' I said, 'We're moving back.'"
Baldwin allegedly laid his hands on another Daily News photographer, prompting Santos to intervene.
"I said, 'Don't touch him,'" he relays to the paper. "I knew he was going to attack me. I stepped back, and he kept coming. He comes after me, starts shoving and punching me -- one time, right in the chin. And then he started shoving me, and pushing me. Then he goes the other way."
Photos from the scene show a seemingly enraged Alec yelling and shoving Santos.
The actor defended himself on Twitter, insisting the lensman kinda struck first.
"A 'photographer' almost hit me in the face with his camera this morning," he wrote. "#allpaparazzishouldbewaterboarded."
A few minutes later, he unwisely added, "I suppose if the offending paparazzi was wearing a hoodie and I shot him, it would all blow over ..."
Baldwin insiders insist to TMZ that the shutterbug nearly clipped him with the camera so he "pushed him away" but didn't throw a punch.
"As Alec and his fiancée were leaving City Hall, a 'civilian' walking in front of Alec positioned himself to obstruct the view of a photographer aggressively trying to shoot the couple," his rep explains to the Huffington Post. "The photographer was clearly frustrated, pushed past the bystander and assaulted Alec with his camera. There were no punches thrown, and any subsequent physical contact was simply Alec protecting himself."
Still, another shutterbug confirms Baldwin's fury.
"There was an eruption of mad," Goran Veljic tells the paper. "You're going to get a marriage license, you should be happy. What happened with this guy?"
Thomas, 28, a yoga instructor who has helped the actor live a healthier lifestyle, did not witness the alleged fisticuffs. Still, it's not as though she's going into this marriage without some inkling of her groom's volatility.
Baldwin's temper is well-documented, including his Words With Friends-sparked tantrum on an American Airlines flight back in December, his scuffle with photographers as he returned home from the hospital in 2010 and his ugly, insult-filled voice mail to Ireland in 2007.
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