Paul’s Neighbor Pleads ‘Not Guilty’ as Mystery Deepens

Paul tweets out stories that dispute altercation was over landscaping, more about politics

Rene Boucher faces arraignment Thursday on charges that he attacked his neighbor Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul last week and broke six of his ribs. (Warren County Regional Jail)

As Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s neighbor pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting the senator on Thursday, Paul is cryptically deepening the mystery around the incident.

Rene Boucher was charged with misdemeanor fourth-degree assault in Bowling Green, Kentucky, The Associated Press reported. He could face up to a year in jail if convicted.

After initially saying the Kentucky Republican was “fine,” Paul’s camp on Saturday announced he had five fractured ribs.

On Wednesday, Paul upped that number to six and said x-rays showed he also had a pleural effusion, in which excess fluid pools around the lungs.

Boucher’s lawyer said the reason for the assault was “a very regrettable dispute between two neighbors that most people would regard as trivial.”

Accounts from neighbors and friends said the fracas was prompted by a landscaping dispute between Boucher and Paul. But after updating Twitter on his condition on Wednesday, Paul tweeted without comment articles from conservative news outlets Breitbart and The Washington Examiner disputing those reports as “fake news.”

The Examiner cited accounts from Boucher’s and Paul’s neighbors.

“The stories of a ‘landscaping dispute’ or a dispute of any sort between Rand Paul and Rene Boucher are erroneous and unfounded. The reason for Mr. Boucher’s bizarre attack is known only to him. Statements to the contrary are irresponsible and unnecessary,” Travis Creed told the outlet.

Similarly, Alicia Stivers expressed puzzlement about the dispute.

“I have never heard Sen. Paul speak an unkind word about anyone, let alone become physically violent. 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 The Examiner.

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