Earlier this month, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) was viciously attacked by his 59-year-old neighbor, Rene Boucher, while doing yard work outside of his home in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Sen. Paul was subsequently rushed to the hospital with multiple injuries and his assailant was consequently arrested.
Following the attack, Boucher’s attorney released a statement suggesting that the “unfortunate occurrence” had “absolutely nothing to do with either’s politics or political agendas.” Instead, he asserted that it was merely a “regrettable dispute between two neighbors over a matter most people would regard as trivial.”
Specifically, when asked by reporters earlier this week if the reason for the attack was the result of a “landscaping dispute,” Bevin replied, “no.” To clarify, he added, “the stories of a ‘landscaping dispute,’ or a dispute of any sort between Rand Paul and Rene Boucher are erroneous and unfounded…The guy’s cutting his own grass minding his own business.”
Bevin also called on Boucher to be held accountable for his actions. “I would say [Boucher] should be well prosecuted for acting as he has,” he reasoned.
As of now, Boucher has only been charged with “fourth-degree assault,” which is a misdemeanor. But that will likely change in the near future. This is because, according to reports, federal officials are expected to also file federal charges against him for physically assaulting a politician. If they do, Boucher could face up to ten years in prison.
In addition to Bevin, Paul’s Senior Advisor, Doug Stafford, also disputed the claim that the assault was the result of a neighborly dispute. “Last week Senator Paul was vigorously assaulted by someone in his neighborhood. As to reports of a longstanding dispute with the attacker, the Pauls have had no conversations with him in many years,” explained Stafford in a statement to reporters. “The first ‘conversation’ with the attacker came after Sen. Paul’s ribs were broken,” he added.
“This was not a ‘fight,’ it was a blindside, violent attack by a disturbed person. Anyone claiming otherwise is simply uninformed or seeking media attention,” continued Stafford. “This is a serious criminal matter involving serious injury, and is being handled by local and federal authorities,” he noted.
While the motives behind the attack remain unclear, what is clear is the fact that Paul was badly hurt. In addition to having six of his ribs broken, he is also recovering from a “pleural effusion,” which is the buildup of which excess fluid around the lung.”
But despite being in “a good deal of pain, Paul appears to be in good spirits and has since returned to Congress where he will work on tax reform. “I’ve been in D.C. for a week. We’re trying to make the tax cut a cut for everyone,” stated Paul in a video update that he recently posted online.
“We’re working really hard on that, and we’re looking forward to a time of family and thanksgiving,” he continued, noting, “thanks for your concerns and prayers and thoughts. It’s been a rough couple of weeks.”
Kelley and I wanted to give you all an update and wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. pic.twitter.com/ZyA7mRk3fk
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) November 17, 2017
Hopefully, law enforcement officials will follow through and ultimately file federal charges against Boucher. Doing so will help ensure that Boucher is held accountable for his violent conduct. On top of that, it will also send a strong message to everyone else that assaulting a politician will not be tolerated, which will likely deter others from doing something similar in the future.