by Andy Braham
On Nov. 3, Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul survived a serious assault outside his home in Bowling Green, KY. The assailant, a middle-aged neighbor named Rene Boucher, body slammed the politician into the ground while Paul mowed his lawn. Since Paul wore ear protection, he was blindsided by a tackle and knocked to the ground according to Bowling Green Police.
In the hospital, doctors found six broken ribs, a bruised lung, and a pleural effusion. Paul’s current location remains unknown, but he is recovering, a spokesman has said. Paul’s injuries are so severe that he may not be able to fly for the coming months, which might slow down many projects that he has been working on. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell tweeted that “We are all thinking about my fellow Kentuckian @RandPaul, hoping he’ll recover quickly & return to the #Senate very soon.”
Matt Baker, an attorney for the alleged perpetrator, said to CBS News that “it was a very regrettable dispute between two neighbors over a matter that most people would regard as trivial. It was absolutely and unequivocally not about politics, not about right versus left and not about Democrat versus Republican.” That claim has been disputed repeatedly, with many saying the Democrat had it out for Paul because of his affiliation with President Trump. A New York Times reporter claims that the incident started over landscaping on Paul’s property while the Washington Examiner asserts that Paul’s landscaping concerns did not factor into this situation at all. A neighbor said, “As a friend, neighbor and senator, Rand has been first class in every way. What I find amazing is the fact that he cuts his own grass. Our neighborhood is fortunate that the Pauls live here.” This statement contradicts those by an anonymous neighbor used in the New York Times piece. That neighbor stated that many had recurring conflicts over Paul’s landscaping including Paul’s choice of a compost pile.
The Pauls, who are famously closed off to the media, have given few statements on this issue. Rand Paul said in a tweet Monday, “Kelley and I appreciate the overwhelming support after Friday’s unfortunate event. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.” In response to Rene Boucher making the 7,500 dollar bail and then pleading not guilty, a spokesperson for Paul said, “Last week Senator Paul was vigorously assaulted by someone in his neighborhood. This is a serious criminal matter involving serious injury, and is being handled by local and federal authorities. As to reports of a longstanding dispute with the attacker, the Pauls have had no conversations with him in many years.” The Paul family has not commented directly on any of these conflicting reports.
(Sources: Washington Examiner, Washington Free Beacon, CNN, New York Times, ABC)