Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Alec Baldwin was riding in a Lamborghini when the scene unfolded
A man shot by actor Alec Baldwin in an alleged road rage incident told police he was under stress from a heroin and alcohol addiction and was suicidal.
Louis Eppolito, whose story inspired the gritty drama The Sopranos, was struck three times and in hospital with life-threatening injuries.
He spoke of his addiction before the collision as authorities closed down the area around 35th Street and 6th Avenue in New York on Saturday.
Baldwin, 60, spoke to reporters on the set of his new show, 3% later on Saturday, and denied he had punched Mr Eppolito.
“He assaulted me”, the actor said, adding that he expected to be charged in the incident.
Mr Eppolito, 61, told police that he had been on the phone with his daughter when he had seen Baldwin and his wife, Hilaria, standing next to each other.
They had an argument about moving from their traffic spot along the street.
Mr Eppolito said he went to talk to Alec Baldwin and was half way out the door when Mr Baldwin’s Lamborghini came around a corner.
“I could feel the vehicle coming… and I moved back,” he told police.
Mr Eppolito said he had been overtaken by a blue Land Rover, but was struck by a black Chevrolet that took no action.
Mr Eppolito was struck by the chrome end of Baldwin’s car, his arm and a mirror, according to the police.
Police later said Mr Eppolito’s injuries appeared to be non-life-threatening, with only two of the four wounds hitting major arteries in his body.
He was in critical condition in hospital, but his condition had improved to stable, said his attorney, Joe Tacopina.
Mr Tacopina said Mr Eppolito, a former federal officer, had been out on bail for robbery, protection and extortion charges.
It was during that process that he had gone to regular drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres, and been sober for 19 months, he said.
Later, in a statement, he added: “He admits to being a very hard working and loyal member of the local community.
“He wants it known that he is not a bad guy. He has a lot of health problems, including drug and alcohol addiction. He would not risk his life if he thought he could be hurt.
“Lou Eppolito always puts his family and community first and has a wonderful sense of humour.
“He has an unbelievable family and much to live for.”
When Mr Eppolito reached the hospital, two officers were there to meet him.
He told them he wanted to go out and look for work, the police said.
Mr Tacopina said he did not know why his client had decided to go out to “look for work”.
“That was what made me laugh… There is nothing to talk about. He simply didn’t see what he was getting into.”
Read more: Toni Fleck’s story about Crips life
The drama unfolded on Saturday around midday (local time) in the Midtown neighbourhood, where Mr Eppolito and Mr Baldwin lived and where their high-profile neighbours include actor Tom Hanks and former first lady Hillary Clinton.
Investigators asked the public for pictures of either Mr Baldwin or Mr Eppolito and “any dirt” the pair might have on each other.
NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said Mr Eppolito said he would not cooperate with police, but agreed to lie down with his arm in a sling and sign in.
“I feel terrible,” Mr Eppolito said in his statement. “I didn’t want to hit Alec.”
Reuters contributed to this report