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Rene Boucher tackled Paul after a dispute over yard waste
♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com editor
BOWLING GREEN, Kentucky (CFP) — A neighbor of U.S. Senator Rand Paul will spend 30 days in jail for an assault last November outside Paul’s Bowling Green home that left the senator with broken ribs.
Rene Boucher, 60, who pleaded guilty in March to a felony charge of assaulting a member of Congress resulting in injury, was sentenced June 15 in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green.
He was also fined $10,000 and sentenced to a year of probation after his release, according to a statement from the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, which prosecuted the case.
The Bowling Green Daily News reported that Boucher apologized to Paul in court, saying, “I’m embarrassed and I hope (Paul) and his family will one day be able to accept my apology.”
“I lost my temper and I did not behave well, and I was wrong. I did not think I would be in a courthouse at the center of all this,” he said, according to the Daily News.
Federal prosecutors had sought a stiffer sentence of 21 months in prison for Boucher. Paul, who did not attend the sentencing hearing, expressed some dissatisfaction with the lighter sentence in a statement: “The original 21-month sentence requested would have been the appropriate punishment.”
“No one deserves to be violently assaulted. A felony conviction is appropriate and hopefully will deter the attacker from further violence,” Paul said in the statement.
The attack occurred last November 3 in the upscale Rivergreen subdivision east of Bowling Green, where Paul and Boucher, who are both medical doctors, are neighbors. Paul was mowing his yard when Boucher tackled him to the ground, breaking several ribs.
Paul later contracted pneumonia, which can be a complication of rib injuries.
Boucher denied any political motivation for the assault, saying he attacked Paul in anger after the senator repeatedly piled yard waste near the property line between their homes. However, Paul said Boucher had never complained to him about the waste.
Boucher was originally charged with assault in state court, but because Paul was a member of Congress, federal prosecutors later took over the case, which was turned over to the Southern District of Indiana after the Western District of Kentucky was recused.
Rene Boucher faces possible prison time for injuring Kentucky lawmaker
♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPoiltics.com editor
BOWLING GREEN, Kentucky (CFP) — A neighbor of U.S. Senator Rand Paul is facing a federal felony charge for tackling and injuring the Kentucky senator after a dispute over yard trimmings in November, according to the federal prosecutor handling the case.
Rene Boucher, 58, of Bowling Green, has been charged with assaulting a member of Congress resulting in personal injury, according to an announcement from John Minkler, the U.S attorney for the Southern District of Indiana.
Boucher has signed a plea agreement in the case, but no date has been set for taking his guilty plea and imposing a sentence, the statement said.
The charge carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Boucher’s attorney, Matt Baker, told the Bowling Green Daily News that Boucher is remorseful for the attack will ask for probation at sentencing.
Boucher has also been charged with fourth-degree assault in a state court.
The case was transferred to Minkler’ office in Indianapolis after the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Louisville-based Western District of Kentucky recused itself from the case.
The statement from Minkler’s office shed new light on what happened on the afternoon of November 3 in a tony subdivision near Bowling Green, where Boucher and Paul–both medical doctors–were neighbors.
Boucher saw Paul “stack brush onto a pile near the victim’s property” and “had enough,” according to the statement. He then ran onto Paul’s property and tackled him.
The senator suffered multiple fractured ribs and later contracted pneumonia, the statement said.
At the time of the assault, speculation arose that Boucher’s assault on Paul might have been politically motivated. But according to Minkler’s statement, Boucher denied any political motivation, although he did admit to tackling the senator.
Paul’s neighbor, a medical doctor, has been charged with assault, as motive remains unclear
BOWLING GREEN, Kentucky (CFP) — U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky was “blindsided” and shoved to the ground while mowing the grass outside of his Kentucky home, and his neighbor has been arrested on assault charges, according to the senator’s office and Kentucky State Police.
Paul, who was not seriously injured after the November 3 incident, later sent out a tweet saying he and his wife “appreciate the overwhelming support after Friday’s unfortunate event. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.”
He did not elaborate on any possible motive for the attack, nor did he discuss his relationship with Rene Boucher, 59, who is charged with fourth-degree assault in the case.
The attack took place on the afternoon of November 3 outside Paul’s home in a gated community near Bowling Green, where both he and Boucher have adjoining homes. State troopers called to the scene arrested Boucher, who “intentionally” assaulted Paul, according to police.
Boucher has worked as an anesthesiologist in Bowling Green. Prior to election to the Senate in 2010, Paul was an ophthalmologist in the western Kentucky city of 60,000.
State police told local media that the two men were acquaintances, although no additional details were provided. Given that Paul is a member of Congress, the FBI has also been contacted, state police said.
Boucher was later released from the Warren County Detention Center after posting bond. He has a court date on November 9.
The attack on Paul comes amid increased security concerns among members of Congress in the wake of contentious town hall meetings this year and the June shootings of four people during a Republican softball team practice in suburban Washington. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana was critically injured in that attack.