Federal prosecutors have informed Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) that his neighbor will have federal charges lodged against his longtime Kentucky neighbor, who attacked Paul last week while he was cutting his lawn.
The attack left Paul with six broken ribs, and some speculate may have been politically motivated, but motive is still unclear.
According to federal agents, Paul’s neighbor Rene Boucher allegedly attacked the US senator while he was mowing his lawn in Bowling Green. An aide to Paul said that Boucher attacked him from the blind side and that the man was disturbed. The aide disputed rumors that the assault was because of a disagreement over Paul’s landscaping.
Paul has not said much about the attack, but he has alluded to reports that questioned whether the assault was due to a landscaping dispute. Another neighbor said that the attack was a neighbor to neighbor issue and was not related to a political disagreement. Boucher is pleading not guilty to fourth degree assault.
In Kentucky, a fourth degree assault charge is a misdemeanor. It occurs when the person physically attacks and injures another person without a legal justification. This state has four types of assault crimes ranging from first to fourth degree. The least serious is fourth degree assault, which is a class A misdemeanor. For the prosecutor to charge fourth degree assault, the victim must have suffered some type of physical injury. According to state law, a physical injury is defined as substantial physical pain or any type of impairment of physical condition.
Attacking a member of Congress is a federal crime, so that is why that federal charges are expected in this case.
Motivation Still a Mystery
According to Boucher’s attorney, both men have lived next to each other for 17 years and were both well known members of the medical community in Bowling Green and even worked together when both were practicing medicine. However, another neighbor said that the men had not spoken for years and was surprised that the attack had occurred.
A neighbor of both men, Dan Renshaw, stated last week that he discarded reports that the attack had anything to do with ‘lawn clippings.’ He noted that the US Capitol Police have visited the neighborhood, which indicated increasing federal oversight of the attack. Renshaw stated that his son in law is on the HOA board for the area, and said that there had been no reports of any disagreements between the two men.
Boucher’s attorney has said that his client regrets that the incident happened. If he had it all to do over again, the man probably would have handled it very differently. His lawyer did stress that the attack was not politically motivated.
In several interviews last week with a dozen Republican strategists and donors for the senator, most expressed that they were mystified by the attack and how strange it was. They wondered how such a brutal attack could occur between two men who are relatively slight in stature. Most said it seemed very unlikely that a property dispute could lead to violence of that sort.
Still, neighbor Jim Skaggs, who was one of the developers for the Rivergreen neighborhood, told CNN last week that there had been a longtime disagreement regarding property maintenance. He added that Paul was not enamored with the property rules when he was first told about them. Paul as a libertarian generally believes in fewer property rights and has strong beliefs on the matter. Skaggs said that Paul had to be told sternly to follow the neighborhood’s restrictions and rules.
Skaggs added that he likes both men, but that Paul is a ‘different character than most people.’ By that, he said, he means that Paul is a strong believer in his own thoughts about how things should be. He thinks that his beliefs are 100% right all the time.
That same type of attitude that Paul has shown in Washington DC over taxes, healthcare and civil liberties could have potentially led to a strong disagreement with a neighbor, some speculate.
Skaggs also told the media that the two men share a property line in the gated community, and have had a long dispute about leaves and grass clippings that would blow onto each other’s lawn.
Paul Plans to Return to Work This Week
Sen. Paul stated this week that he intends to go back to Washington DC soon to work, even though he suffered serious, painful injuries to his ribs. He noted on Twitter that he is in pain but he will go back to the Senate today to continue to ‘fight for liberty, and help move forward with tax cuts in the coming days and weeks.’
In addition to the six broken ribs, Paul is suffering from a pleural effusion, which is a fluid buildup in the chest area that surrounds the lungs.