Rene Boucher reportedly tackled the Republican senator while he was out mowing his lawn.
Photo by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Over the weekend, local news outlets reported that Kentucky senator Rand Paul was "blindsided and the victim of an assault" in an altercation at his home in Bowling Green on Friday afternoon. Now, according to the Washington Post, his next-door neighbor has been charged with the assault and the Republican politician is suffering from some pretty serious injuries.
After first insisting Paul was "fine" on Saturday, his chief of staff, Doug Stafford, revealed that the altercation had left the senator with five fractured ribs and lung contusions. Paul reportedly can't travel to Washington, and his camp hasn't said when he'll be back on the Hill. According to Stafford, his recovery could take "several months."
"It is not clear exactly how soon he will return to work, as the pain is considerable, as is the difficulty in getting around, including flying," Stafford told the Post.
Rene Boucher, a 59-year-old medical professional who lives next door to Paul, allegedly tackled the senator from behind while he was mowing his lawn, WNKY reports. Boucher and Paul, an ophthalmologist, may have crossed paths at the same hospital and, according to one neighbor, the two had ongoing issues.
It's still unclear what drove Boucher to allegedly attack his neighbor, but residents of Bowling Green say the two sit on opposite sides of the political spectrum. Former city commission member Jim Bullington told the Post that Boucher was a socialist who would regularly engage in "heated discussions" with Paul, a libertarian, about healthcare.
"He's pretty much the opposite of Rand Paul in every way," Bullington said.
Police arrested Boucher and charged him with fourth-degree assault, a misdemeanor, but the FBI is now investigating to see if the altercation was politically motivated, WAVE reports. Boucher was released on a $7,500 cash bond, but he's due back in court on Thursday. Meanwhile, Paul is laying low and recovering in Bowling Green.
"Displaced rib fractures can lead to life-threatening injuries," Stafford told the New York Times. "This type of injury is also accompanied by severe pain that can last weeks to months."
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