Kiefer Sutherland

Kiefer Sutherland was charged with third-degree assault after turning himself in to police Thursday.

The 24 star, who is accused of head-butting fashion designer Jack McCollough, will not be jailed as he awaits a court hearing. Instead, he was given a desk-appearance ticket requiring him to appear before a judge in about a month, police told TVGuide.com.

Witnesses have said McCullough bumped Brooke Shields at an after-party for the Met Costume Institute Gala on Monday, and that Sutherland demanded that McCullough apologize. McCullough pushed Sutherland, and the actor responded with a head-butt, the witnesses said.

Shields' rep, however, told TMZ nothing happened to Shields and that McCullough did not do anything inappropriate.

The New York charge could trigger additional legal problems for Sutherland. The actor is serving five years' probation, which started in December 2007, on a Los Angeles DUI charge. Committing an assault could violate that probation, and prosecutors could seek a court hearing on the matter even without waiting for any assault charge to wind its way through the New York courts, Frank Mateljan, a spokesman for the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office, told TVGuide.com.

Sutherland's publicist and attorney did not return calls for comment Thursday.