There were some odd reports on Saturday about Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) being assaulted at his Kentucky home late last week, but a spokesperson for the Republican senator said he was “fine.” The Kentucky State Police added that Paul suffered “a minor injury.”
By yesterday afternoon, our understanding of what transpired was quite a bit different.
Sen. Rand Paul was “blindsided” and broke five ribs when he was tackled by a neighbor at his home in Bowling Green, Kentucky, police and an aide to Paul said Sunday.
Rene Boucher, 59, of Bowling Green, was charged with one count of fourth-degree assault in the incident, which occurred at about 3:20 p.m. (4:20 p.m. ET) Friday, Kentucky State Police said.
According to a spokesperson for the senator, Paul suffered five rib fractures, including three displaced fractures, and it’s “not clear exactly how soon he will return to work.”
State police indicated that the FBI is involved in the investigation, which makes sense given the fact that a sitting senator was apparently the victim of a violent assault.
And I’ll look forward to learning the results of that investigation, because what we know at this point is quite bizarre.
Three days after the incident, we don’t know, for example, why in the world Rand Paul’s neighbor felt the need to tackle him from behind while the senator mowed his lawn. We also don’t know why the initial reports about the severity of the senator’s injuries were so wrong.
A Washington Post report added:
The nature of the dispute between Paul and Boucher remained a mystery Sunday to locals who know both men as medical professionals based in this southwestern Kentucky town.”
Paul is an ophthalmologist who has practiced in town since moving here with his wife in 1993…. Boucher is an anesthesiologist and the inventor of the Therm-a-Vest, a cloth vest partly filled with rice and secured with Velcro straps that is designed to help with back pain. He has worked at several local medical facilities through the years, according to public health records.
David Ciochetty, a doctor with Interventional Pain Specialists in Bowling Green, said in an interview Sunday that Boucher worked there as a “general pain medicine physician” for about a year and a half beginning in January 2010 before leaving.
I’m not going to speculate without more information, but let’s note for the record that any politically motivated violence against elected officials is outrageous and fundamentally at odds with how a healthy democracy is supposed to function.