Politics & Government

Rand Paul says attack while mowing lawn left him in a ‘living hell’ for weeks

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said Sunday it was a “living hell” after he was attacked in November. Paul made his comments on Face the Nation, a news television show on CBS.

“It was sort of I guess a living hell for the first four or five weeks. Couldn’t get out of bed without assistance,” Paul told John Dickerson, host of Face the Nation.

The attack left Paul with six broken ribs, damage to his lungs and two periods of pneumonia.

“This last month I’ve been doing better,” Paul said.

The man who allegedly attacked Paul, Rene Boucher, pleaded not guilty to the fourth-degree assault charge days later. Boucher, a neighbor of Paul, came up behind the senator while in Paul’s yard and tackled him without warning, according to previous reports and Boucher’s arrest warrant. Paul was wearing hearing protection and didn’t hear Boucher approach, a neighbor previously said.

Boucher’s attorney, Matthew J. Baker, declined to specify a reason for the attack, but cited a story published in the Louisville Courier Journal quoting Jim Skaggs, a neighbor of the two men, as suggesting that the dispute might have grown from accusations that Paul blew lawn clippings into Boucher’s yard.

The newspaper quoted Skaggs as saying there had been earlier disagreements between Paul, a Republican, and Boucher over matters including yard clippings and who had responsibility to trim a tree limb on their property line.

“I think Mr. Skaggs’ analysis of the situation is fairly accurate,” Baker said in November. “My analysis would be consistent with his.”

The motivation for Boucher’s alleged attack was also discussed on Sunday’s show.

“My colleagues come up all the time, and they want to make sure that there is some kind of deterrent because people don’t want to think that it’s open season on our elected officials, I was also at the baseball field when we were shot at with semi-automatic fire, and Steve Scalise was severely wounded, and I was ten feet from a young staffer who was shot in the leg.” Paul said during the interview Sunday. “And I think one of the things about motivations is people got obsessed, some in the media, about the motivations. But I think really we usually don’t ask if someone’s raped or mugged or whatever why the person did it. We want punishment and deterrents.”

Boucher is scheduled for a February pretrial conference in Warren County.

The entirety of Paul’s interview can be viewed here.

Matthew Baker, attorney for the man charged with attacking Sen. Rand Paul, discusses the case.