Sen. Rand Paul’s neighbors are coming out in droves to defend the Kentucky Republican, who sustained serious injuries after being attacked outside his house in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Friday.
Paul, who suffered six broken ribs and a pleural effusion, was blindsided and tackled by his neighbor of 17 years, Dr. Rene Boucher, 59, while he was mowing his lawn, which sits inside a normally quiet gated community.
Dan Renshaw, who has lived in the neighborhood with his wife for 17 years, said he doesn’t think the misdemeanor fourth-degree assault charges are strong enough due to the extent of Paul’s injuries.
“I cannot imagine being in my yard pulling weeds or mowing and being violently attacked by anyone, much less my neighbor,” he told The Daily Caller. “I can’t believe he was out of jail the next morning on a 7,500 bail, with such serious injuries.”
Boucher maintains the attack was not political, with his lawyer calling the incident “a very regrettable dispute between two neighbors over a matter that most people would regard as trivial.” The New York Times reported tensions over landscaping was the catalyst behind the attack. But members of the River Green homeowners association say they’ve never heard any grievances about the upkeep of the senator’s lawn, referring to the family as “gracious and friendly neighbors.”
“My family has lived here for six years now. In all the years that I have been on board we have never had any complaints at all about anything from them or against the Pauls,” Paul’s neighbor, Shawn Parker, said in an email. “I pass by their house everyday as my family lives diagonally across the street from them. When we see Rand out riding his bike or Kelley out walking in the beautiful neighborhood we live in they have always waved or even stopped to say hello.”
Alicia Stivers, a longtime friend and neighbor of the Pauls, said he has never heard either Rand or Kelley “speak an unkind word about anyone, let alone become physically violent.” According to Stivers, Boucher’s animosity toward the Pauls was unknown in the neighborhood adding, she “can attest that the Pauls were unaware [of any tensions] as well.”
“Which makes it all the more shocking that a next-door neighbor of many years who has not so much as exchanged an email or spoken word with Rand in several years, would race downhill and pummel Rand from behind,” she told TheDC in an email. “In fact, the Pauls’ lot looks almost exactly the same today as it did 17 years ago when Dr. Boucher and his ex-wife chose their lot and built their house next door.”
While neighbors largely said Boucher kept to himself and would smile and wave on occasion, one resident, who sits on the board of the Home Owners Association and who requested anonymity, said it isn’t the first time they had heard he exhibited aggressive behavior toward someone in the area.
“I do find it shocking that he physically attacked Rand,” the resident told TheDC in an email. “I am aware of one other recent aggressive interaction with a neighbor who asked Dr. Boucher not to let his dog defecate on the sandy area around our lake.”
Travis Creed, who lives in the neighborhood, blasted reports there has long been a contentious relationship between Paul and Boucher. Creed said speculation surrounding the motive for the “has led to an unfair characterization of the Pauls and their home.”
“The stories of a ‘landscaping dispute,’ or a dispute of any sort between Rand Paul and Rene Boucher are erroneous and unfounded,” he said in an email. “The reason for Mr. Boucher’s bizarre attack is known only to him. Statements to the contrary are irresponsible and unnecessary.”
Bob Warner, who said he and his wife have been friends with the Kentucky Republican for roughly two decades, echoed Creed’s sentiments, calling reports Paul was partially at fault unfounded.
“Our sons are friends with their sons and we have been on skiing trips as well as meet with them socially. As a friend, neighbor and Senator; Rand has been first class in every way,” he told TheDC. “What I find amazing is the fact that he cuts his own grass. Our neighborhood is fortunate that the Pauls live here. They are always engaging during their frequent walks through the neighborhood.”
Paul is currently recovering from the attack in Kentucky.