Tags: Sen. Rand Paul | Rene Bouchard | attack

Rand Paul Injuries More Severe Than First Thought

Image: Rand Paul Injuries More Severe Than First Thought
Sen. Rand Paul (AP)

By    |   Sunday, 05 Nov 2017 06:44 PM

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is recovering from injuries after an alleged assault at his home in Bowling Green on Friday, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

The Associated Press reported that Paul had five broken ribs.

Paul made his first public comment since the incident, tweeting his wife "Kelley and I appreciate the overwhelming support after Friday's unfortunate event. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers."

Robert Porter, a friend of Paul's, said "He didn't get any severe injuries to his face," but offered no further details. As for when Paul would return to Washington, Porter said it would be "a game day decision. Day by day."

Rene Bouchard, whose property abuts Paul's, was charged with fourth degree assault with a minor injury in the incident. Bouchard is an anesthesiologist. Paul, also a medical professional, is an ophthalmologist.

A motive is not known for the attack, but a registered nurse, Jeff Jones, who had worked with Bouchard, described him as having "liberal" politics.

The Post reported that a Facebook page that appeared to belong to Boucher described him as a former Army pain-management specialist who graduated from the College of Osteopathic Medicine in Des Moines in 1984.

The page included links and items critical of President Donald Trump.

Paul's senior adviser, Doug Stafford, said it was unclear when the Republican will return to work since he is in considerable pain and has difficulty getting around, including flying. Stafford said this type of injury is marked by severe pain that can last for weeks to months.

"This type of injury is caused by high velocity severe force," Stafford said in an email to The Associated Press.

The Bowling Green Daily News reported that an arrest warrant said Paul told police his neighbor came on his property and tackled him from behind Friday, forcing him to the ground. He had trouble breathing because of a rib injury, the warrant said.

A Warren County official did not immediately respond to an AP request for a copy of the arrest warrant.

Boucher was released from jail Saturday on a $7,500 bond. He has a court date scheduled for Thursday. Boucher did not return a phone call from The Associated Press seeking comment. It is unclear if he has a lawyer.

A spokeswoman for Paul said he was "blindsided" by the attack, but did not provide more details. Police have not said what motivated the attack. Kentucky State Police Master Trooper Jeremy Hodges said the FBI checking to see if the attack was politically motivated.

FBI spokesman David Habich said the agency is aware of the incident and is "working with our state and local partners to determine if there was a violation of federal law."

The attack was a shock for the community in Bowling Green, where a neighbor says he would often see Paul and Boucher out walking their dogs on the normally quiet streets. Jim Skaggs, a member of the state Republican Party executive committee, lives in the neighborhood and has known both men for years. He said they disagreed politically, but was shocked to hear of the incident.

"They were as far left and right as you can be," Skaggs said. "We had heard of no friction whatsoever other than they just were difference of political opinion. Both of them walked their little dogs at about a mile and a half circle, a nice little dog trot. I'd see them out walking, maybe they might stop and speak with each other."

Jim Bullington, a former member of the city commission, described Boucher as a socialist, and said the man is divorced and lives alone.

"He’s pretty much the opposite of Rand Paul in every way," Bullington told the Post, adding that Boucher and Paul have had "heated discussions" about healthcare.

Boucher is an anesthesiologist and a pain specialist. He invented the "Therm-A-Vest," a cloth vest partially filled with rice that when heated can be worn to relieve back pain, according to a 2005 article from the Bowling Green Daily News.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is recovering from injuries after an alleged assault at his home in Bowling Green on Friday, The Washington Post reported Sunday.Paul made his first public comment since the incident, tweeting his wife "Kelley and I appreciate the overwhelming support...
Sen. Rand Paul, Rene Bouchard, attack
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Sunday, 05 Nov 2017 06:44 PM
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