Politics

Rand Paul’s Neighbor Gives Deposition in Civil Suit: ‘I Lost It’

Rene Boucher said he never filed a complaint, but that senator avoided discussions with him

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has been at loggerheads with his neighbor Rene Boucher since Boucher tackled him in his yard last year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In a five-hour deposition Monday, Sen. Rand Paul’s neighbor described his thinking on the day he tackled the congressman in November of last year over what he says was a dispute over yard waste.

“When I saw him once again, he was off of his mower, taking branches from that one pile and putting them on the property line to intentionally aggravate me. I lost it and became irate,” Rene Boucher said.

Boucher then charged toward Paul and knocked him to the ground, leaving him with six broken ribs and an injured lung.

In a Bowling Green courtroom, Boucher testified that the brush pile he “conservatively” estimated to measure 10 feet long and five feet high became a source of intense aggravation, WBKO reported.

Boucher has previously claimed that Paul continually dropped a mound of branches near the line separating their property. Boucher once trespassed in order to douse them with gasoline and set them on fire.

Boucher said he had never discussed the brush pile with his neighbor, but in his deposition, he alleged Paul would avoid personal discussions with him.

Boucher had also spoken to two members of the Rivergreen Home Owners Association about the eyesore before the date of the attack, he testified. But he also acknowledged that he never filed a complaint with the Home Owners Association, WBKO reported. 

A spokesman for the senator told the Washington Examiner in the hours after the assault that it was “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.”

Boucher testified in a civil suit brought by Paul for compensatory and punitive damages alleging he has an “increased likelihood of, and susceptibility to, injury and disease and ... he has been deprived of his enjoyment of life” as a result of Boucher’s attack.

Paul’s lawyer asked that Boucher be questioned in the courtroom rather than a conference room, which is more typical for a deposition. 

The deposition also comes despite earlier protestations by Boucher’s attorney, who originally advised his client to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights in light of his other legal challenges, the Bowling Green Daily News reported.

Boucher pleaded guilty to federal charges of assaulting a member of Congress earlier this year and has already served 30 days in prison and paid a $10,000 fine. But he could eventually face harsher penalties, as U.S. attorneys have appealed that sentence as too lenient. 

“I’m doing everything I know how to do to safeguard [Boucher] from being exposed to additional punishment,” his attorney said at a hearing last week. 

A judge ultimately ruled Boucher could not avoid giving a deposition, but could plead the Fifth in response to particular questions.

The trial date in the civil suit to determine whether Boucher will pay the senator damages on assault and battery claims is set for Jan. 28.

The legal dispute between the men will drag on into next year, when a judge is scheduled to determine on Feb. 3 whether Boucher should be subject to a permanent injunction that would bar him from coming within 200 feet of the senator and his family when he is on his property.

A judge issued a temporary restraining order in August, the Daily News reported. The motion for an injunction included an affidavit from Kelley Paul, the senator’s wife, who alleged that multiple encounters with Boucher — including a run-in at the store in which she alleges he stood a few feet away and smirked at her — left her with an eerie feeling.

Boucher's attorney countered that the Pauls’ legal team “wants my client to be enjoined from living next door to the Pauls and moved out of the community.”

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