Rene Boucher, the man accused of attacking Sen. Rand Paul (Republican of Kentucky) and breaking his ribs while mowing the lawn, appeared in court on November 9 and pleaded not guilty to an badault charge in the fourth degree. (Reuters)
A US senator was attacked at his home, allegedly by his neighbor 19 days ago, and we still have no idea why. The neighbor pleaded not guilty to minor badault. It is difficult to exaggerate how rare this story is, and how much stranger it still is.
Up to that point: on Wednesday, the wife of Senator Rand Paul (Republican for Kentucky) wrote an opinion piece for CNN, where she gave the first full picture of how the Pauls say the attack happened. Basically, he claims that, out of nowhere, Paul's attacker ran down the hill and his body hit Paul for no reason. She wrote:
The only & # 39; dispute & # 39; it existed only in the attacker's troubled mind, until, on a beautiful autumn day, he ran down the hill on our property and hit his body on Rand's lower back while standing, wearing noise-canceling headphones to Protect your ears from the lawn mower.
This is the little we know, and all the things we still do not know about why and how Paul was attacked, and what could happen.
What's up? not in dispute
1. His injuries were serious: We already knew that Paul broke at least six ribs. Paul's wife, Kelley, wrote that three of those ribs were displaced, that she has accumulation of fluid between her lung and chest, and that she was recently diagnosed with pneumonia as a complication of her damaged lung. "Since November 3, my husband, Rand Paul, has not taken a single [breath] without pain," he wrote.
Paul's office declined to comment on Wednesday on the severity of Paul's pneumonia and if he would miss work next week, but spokesman Sergio Gor told The Fix: "Senator Rand Paul still feels pain and Discomfort this Thanksgiving, but very much appreciates all the support he has received from across the country. "
Kelley and I wanted to give you an update and I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. pic.twitter.com/ZyA7mRk3fk
– Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) November 17, 2017
2. Your neighbor is involved in some way: Rene Boucher is a 59-year-old retired anesthesiologist who has lived with Paul in a caring and closed community in Bowling Green, Kentucky, for 17 years.
One week after the attack, he pleaded not guilty to a minor badault charge. His lawyer said there was "a very unfortunate dispute between two neighbors over an issue that most people would consider trivial."
René Boucher, from the center, appears in court for a arraignment hearing with his attorney Matt Baker, left, on November 9. (Austin Anthony / Daily News via AP)
What we still do not know
1. Why he was attacked: Paul's neighbor is a registered Democrat, but his lawyer, Matthew J. Baker, quickly characterized the attack as "unequivocally not about politics." Baker also increased the stories that suggested it was a landscape or property. maintenance dispute.
According to CNN, when Baker was asked about the motive, he said "we must believe" Paul's neighbor Jim Skaggs, who told CNN there was a "long-standing disagreement" about the maintenance of the property.
Paul's side insinuated, but did not say it openly, that it was politics. Paul has tweeted links that suggest that his neighbor's liberal inclination had something to do with it. "Let Robert Mueller stop the Trump gonads," an account with the name of Paul's neighbor tweeted in May, based on a story that Paul directed his Twitter followers to read.
Paul's group has also denied that the attack was preceded by any clbad of fighting, on landscaping or otherwise: "This was not a 'fight', it was a blind side, violent attack by a disturbed person," Paul's staff member Doug told reporters. Stafford. "Anyone who says otherwise is simply uninformed or seeks media attention."
Paul's wife reiterated that in her CNN opinion piece
2. Why none of the parties explained what happened: Reporters across the country have repeatedly tried to obtain a more complete explanation of the situation directly of the senator, his personnel and the local forces of order, in vain.
Almost four weeks later, Paul's camp finally speaks in the form of this opinion piece about how they saw the attack unfold. Again, Paul's wife said she came out of nowhere of a man they had not spoken to in a decade.
3. If Paul and his neighbor were on good terms: Paul and his neighbor have not spoken in 10 years, "apart from a casual wave of the automobile," according to Pablo's wife.
4. Why Paul's wife is offering new information now: Paul's wife seems compelled to raise the curtain on what happened because he feels that Paul has been defamed by "news media" that he says they relished "odious headlines like 'It's not a perfect neighbor', and the elaboration of theories about a 'permanent dispute', based on nothing more than the speculation of a person seeking attention without knowledge of nothing to do with us.
5. Who is the "person seeking attention" is that Paul's wife wants to question: He did not mention the names in the opinion article. a neighbor talking to reporters who have come to the city to find out what happened? Other politicians? Boucher himself?
6. If Paul will press more charges: Paul's neighbor's attorney said to the journalists that Paul has withheld a lawyer from Personal injury One of Paul's aides has said that this case is also being handled by federal authorities, but there is no indication that Boucher will face federal charges.
And if the authorities believe it is a politically motivated attack and he is found guilty, Boucher could also face him much longer in prison: up to eight years instead of up to a year for a minor badault charge, as reported by Brandon Gee and Ed O & # 39; Keefe.