John Mayer took a break from wining and dining Jennifer Aniston Tuesday night, and things got a little rough.

Mayer dined with a male friend at Wolfgang’s Steakhouse in Beverly Hills, where, although the private exit was ready for him, Mayer decided to leave out the front door—into the teeth of the paparazzi scrum.

As Mayer ducked into his awaiting BMW, his bodyguard shoved a shutterbug to the ground and then briefly grabbed the photographer by the throat.

The guard then hopped into the driver seat and whisked Mayer away as customers and employees spilled out of the steakhouse to see what the commotion was all about.

Although the encounter lasted just a few seconds, and the paparazzo, Marc Rhea, immediately stood up and started screaming at the Mayer crew, E! News has learned the photographer subsequently headed to a Tarzana hospital to make sure he had no serious injuries. Rhea has not filed a police report, but plans on contacting a lawyer.

No comment yet from the Mayer camp.