Sen. Rand Paul and his wife opened up about the November attack by their neighbor that landed the Kentucky Republican in the hospital with six broken ribs and a struggle with chronic pneumonia — ostensibly over a yard dispute.
In an interview with WBKO in Kentucky posted Tuesday, Paul’s wife, Kelley, became emotional as she talked about her husband’s injuries and the “ridicule” he received from the media after their neighbor, Rene Boucher, 60, tackled Paul to the ground outside his home in Bowling Green, Kentucky, breaking his ribs.
“Nobody deserves this. He certainly did not,” Kelley Paul said.
“Seeing Rand suffer in that kind of pain and have that level of injury and then see people in the media ridicule it or make fun of it — me, as his wife, who loves Rand and is seeing him suffer like that, that was extremely hurtful.”
Boucher has been sentenced to 30 days in prison. He pleaded guilty to felony assault for tackling the senator off his lawn mower after he had “had enough” of seeing Paul’s “unsightly” yard trimmings piled on Paul’s side of their property line.
Federal attorneys and Paul have appealed the sentencing, arguing that it should be extended to the 21 months they originally asked for.
Boucher, who pleaded guilty in January, has denied the tackle was politically motivated — even as neighbors disputed media reports about the seriousness of the yard battle. If evidence showed it was politically motivated, Boucher would face far harsher penalties since Paul is an elected official in the federal government.
“Dr. Boucher has adamantly denied any such political motivations throughout, as even the suggestion of them is completely unfounded and simply not true,” his defense wrote in a memorandum last month.
Paul and Boucher have sued and countersued each other over the incident and the yard dispute.
In the interview with WBKO, Paul shed light on the nature of the tackle, which until this point had remained something of a mystery.
“He was running so hard that the two of us, by the time he hit me, probably carried me 10 feet down the hill,” the senator said. “I mean, this was an impact — my doctors have said that they’ve almost never seen six ribs broken in an assault. It’s usually a car accident.”
Boucher’s lawyer, Matt Baker, said his client has repeatedly apologized for the incident but that has not been enough to curry favor with the public.
“He has even publicly apologized to the Pauls, but that apology has apparently and obviously been rejected,” Baker said.
Paul and his wife indicated they have no intention of moving from their home to get away from their neighbor.
“Bowling Green is our safe sanctuary,” Kelley Paul said. “We’ve lived in this home for 23 years, and we love it. ... This is where we always feel the safest and most secure. We never knew that we lived next to a person that had this kind of rage toward us.”
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