The paparazzo who chased Justin Bieber on an L.A. freeway was hit with a restraining order in 2010 for allegedly driving like an angry moron and then punching a guy in the face ... TMZ has learned.
TMZ broke the story ... photog Paul Raef is facing 4 criminal charges from the July 6 chase ... after cops say he was dangerously weaving through traffic at breakneck speed.
Now, we've learned ... it ain't the first time Raef has been accused of wreaking havoc on the road -- in fact, he was hit with a restraining order in 2010 after allegedly getting into a violent confrontation with another pap while trying to get a shot of Heidi Klum.
According to court docs obtained by TMZ, Raef blamed the other pap for blowing their shot to photograph Klum ... so he chased after him through traffic and blocked his car.
When Raef approached the other car, the pap claims he rolled down his window to talk... but Raef simply punched him in the face instead ... cutting his mouth open.
The other pap went to court and obtained a temporary restraining order against Raef ... but never followed up ... and the case was dismissed before Raef could tell his side of the story to a judge.
Still, the restraining order could be damning evidence if prosecutors seek to introduce it in the Bieber chase case. Prosecutors could argue Raef has a pattern of engaging in reckless behavior on the road.
Raef is due back in court on August 9. Calls to Raef have not been returned.