The new schools chancellor, Dennis Walcott, broke up a physical altercation between two journalists at City Hall on Friday.
After Mayor Bloomberg concluded his budget presentation for fiscal 2012, a group of journalists moved into the rotunda for follow-up interviews.
According to witness accounts confirmed by City Hall, a local television reporter exchanged heated words with blogger Rafael Martinez Alequin as they gathered around Walcott.
After the reporters finished speaking with Walcott, their argument resumed, and the television reporter told Alequin not to touch him.
"Don't touch me like that again, or I'll flatten you," he said, according to a Daily News witness account.
Alequin then responded with a gay slur, according to the account.
The reporter then reportedly lunged at Alequin, yelling "what did you just say to me?"
That's when Walcott intervened, restraining the reporter and telling the group to calm down. Witnesses say he led the reporter away while Alequin left the rotunda.
Alequin told the Daily News he used the slur "in a moment of anger."
"I regret saying that word," he said.