Alec Baldwin Acts Out When 'Provoked,' Source Says: 'He's Not Some Rage Monster'

"A guy like that, with the temper that he himself admits he has, is eventually going to snap and fight back," a source says of Baldwin's Nov. 2 scuffle

Photo: Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan/Getty Images

After many run-ins with the paparazzi, Alec Baldwin is extra-protective of his personal space.

Days after he was arrested for an alleged altercation with a man in New York City, the actor posted a photo of a paparazzo seemingly taking photos of him on the street. A source tells PEOPLE that Baldwin, 60, shared the image on Monday to give fans insight how fame affects his daily life.

“The reason he posted the picture this morning is to make it clear how frequently he is provoked and taunted and harassed. They are screaming vile things about his daughter Ireland. They are screaming vile things about his wife. They literally bait him and taunt and physically impede him from getting to his car, his building, you name it,” the source says of paparazzi. “So yeah, a guy like that, with the temper that he himself admits he has, is eventually going to snap and fight back.”

On Friday, the Alec Baldwin Show host was arrested after he allegedly punched a man on East 10th Street between University Place and Broadway, police said. Baldwin was charged at the 6th Precinct and was later photographed arriving at his Manhattan apartment. He will appear in court at a later date, according to the NYPD.

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Alec Baldwin

The 30 Rock alum has long had a contentious relationship with reporters and photographers, making headlines for physical altercations with paparazzi in 1995, 2010 and 2012.

“Sometimes he goes too far,” the source says. “But the things these photographers yell at him are more awful than you can imagine, and most of the world will never hear it. Because only the photos get released, of him looking furious and deranged. Or only the video of the minute he loses it gets put out there— never all the disgusting, taunting provocations he has to listen to beforehand.”

Despite his history, the father of five’s career has remained steady. Though MSNBC canceled his short-lived interview show Up Late after the 2013 incident, he’s since won an Emmy for his portrayal of Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live and hosts Match Game for ABC. Plus, The Alec Baldwin Show premiered on ABC in March.

“He’s not some rage monster who is just going around indiscriminately beating people up,” the source says. “He’s pretty much a one-type offender, and it’s the paps who come after him and his family. Everyone close to him, of course, wishes he could just fully tune them out and ignore them, but honestly, there’s also a ton of empathy for why he can’t,” the source adds.

RELATED VIDEO: Alec Baldwin Leaves Police Precinct After Arrest

In addition to his acting career being unaffected by scandal, Baldwin’s marriage to wife Hilaria remains unchanged. (They share daughter Carmen Gabriela, 5, and sons Rafael Thomas, 3, Leonardo Ángel, 2, and Romeo Alejandro, 4½ months.)

“He and Hilaria are stronger than ever; he worships her and the kids,” the source says.

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