Sam Worthington, the star of James Cameron's 2009 sci-fi 'Avatar,' is facing criminal charges after getting arrested in New York City.

The Australian actor was apprehended in West Village for allegedly punching a paparazzo, after a scuffle broke out involving his model girlfriend Lara Bingle.

The pair were walking down Jane Street when photographer, Sheng Li, apparently kicked Bingle in the shin, according to New York Daily News.

In retaliation to this, Worthington struck Mr. Li in the face, in which he received an assault charge in the third degree.

The snapper didn't get away scot-free either, he was also handed an assault charge as well as being charged with harassment and reckless endangerment.

The 37 year-old actor was later released on bail but is due back to court at a later date, which is reported to be February 26th.

New York Police Department Lieutenant John Grimpel confirmed Sam's arrest to the Daily Telegraph.

"It happened at 5.30pm this evening. The photographer kicked Lara and then Worthington punched him causing the photographer to have lacerations to his nose," Grimpel said. "He has been charged with assault."

"The photographer was charged with assault, reckless endangerment and harassment."

One witness took to twitter to share what he just saw, he posted, "Just saw Sam Worthington and Sara Bingle get in physical fight with paparazzi outside cubby hole... Cops just got here."

This isn't the first time the 'Terminator Salvation' actor has been arrested for a physical altercation. In November 2012 Worthington was arrested for fighting with a bouncer outside a club, after he refused the drunk star entry.

The doorman sprayed Sam with pepper spray and handcuffed him until the police arrived, he was charged with disorderly conduct but these were later dismissed after a witness did not turn up to court.

Sam Worthington
Sam and Lara were both involved in the scuffle