A retired doctor has been arrested in Kentucky and accused of breaking the ribs of Republican Senator Rand Paul. State Police troopers in Kentucky responded to Paul’s home in Bowling Green on November 3. There, they arrested Dr. Rene Boucher, a 59-year-old registered Democrat. He’s charged with one count of fourth-degree assault after causing minor injury to Paul, police said. It later emerged that Boucher had allegedly broken six of the senator’s ribs during the altercation. The investigation is being handled by the Kentucky State Police.
Records show that Boucher was being held at the Warren County Detention Center. He has since been released on a $7,500 bond. On November 9, Boucher made his first appearance in court. He pleaded not guilty to the alleged assault. Under the terms of his bond, Boucher is to stay away from Senator Paul. On June 15, Boucher was sentenced to 30 days in prison and received a fine of $10,000. After sentencing, Paul filed a lawsuit against Boucher, calling the doctor’s actions “cruel, malicious, willful, wanton with total disregard for his rights, life and liberties,” reports TMZ. Paul is seeking compensation for medical bills, punitive damages and a court order keeping Boucher away from him.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Witnesses Say Paul Was ‘Ambushed’ by Boucher While the Senator Was Mowing His Lawn
Police have not described the exact circumstances around the assault. A statement from Paul’s office said, “Senator Paul was blindsided and the victim of an assault. The assailant was arrested and it now a matter for the police,” according to the Bowling Green Daily News. WAVE’s Jobina Fortson reports, quoting a witness, that Paul had been mowing his lawn when he was “ambushed” by Boucher.
According to the Bowling Green Daily News, police say Boucher came on to Paul’s property and tackled him from behind. Police said Paul suffered small cuts to his face and “and had trouble breathing due to a potential rib injury.” He was examined by a doctor. Boucher admitted to tackling the senator, according to police.
In a statement to Fox News, Boucher’s lawyer, Matthew Baker, said:
Senator Paul and Dr. Boucher have been next door neighbors for 17 years. They are also prominent members of the local medical community and worked together when they were both practicing physicians.
The unfortunate occurrence of November 3rd has absolutely nothing to do with either’s politics or political agendas. It was a very regrettable dispute between two neighbors over a matter that most people would regard as a trivial.
We sincerely hope that Senator Paul is doing well and that these two gentlemen can get back to being neighbors as quickly as possible.
Baker later told Kentucky.com that the incident “has zero to do with Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, anything like that. It has to do with a disagreement between two neighbors.”
Boucher’s daughter, Danielle, is Facebook friends with Paul’s son, William. WAVE reports that Boucher and Paul are neighbors. Public records show the houses are next to each other and share a lawn in a gated neighborhood in Bowling Green.
The station adds in its report that the FBI is investigating to see if the attack was politically motivated. WAVE’s Jobina Fortson tweeted that neighbors are saying that Paul and Boucher “had an ongoing feud.” Online records show that Paul lives along Lakeside Way in Bowling Green.
Jim Skaggs, a former leader in the local Republican Party, developed the community where the two men live. Skaggs told the Louisville Courier-Journal that he believes Boucher was angry at Paul blowing lawn clippings on to Boucher’s land. Skaggs added that the two had a disagreement over a tree limb which crossed the two property lines.
2. Dr. Boucher Was a Pain Specialist & Invented a Rice Filled Vest that Is Used to Alleviate Back Pain
Boucher is an anesthesiologist and pain specialist. He got his medical degree from Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine after being pre-med at Providence College in Rhode Island, according to Doximity. Boucher has practiced medicine since 1982 and attended high school in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Between 1985 and 1993, Boucher was a pain management specialist at the Letterman Army Medical Center in San Francisco where he also did his residency.
In 2005, Boucher appeared on QVC marketing a rice-filled vest that was designed to alleviate back pain, reported the Bowling Green Daily News. The vest retailed at $30 and had to be microwaved before use. The website for Therm-a-Vest is no longer active. WAVE reports that Boucher retired in 2015.
3. Boucher Shared an Article on His Facebook Page About a Republican Congressman ‘Body Slamming’ a Reporter
In May 2017, Boucher shared a story on Facebook about Republican Congressman Greg Gianforte assaulting The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs in Bozeman, Montana. The assault was described as a “body slam” at the time.
Boucher is a registered Democrat. He is shown through Facebook postings to be highly critical of President Donald Trump, Boucher is also an advocate for gun control and healthcare reform. No postings seem to target Senator Paul.
Boucher writes in his Facebook bio that he is in a relationship. The Bowling Green Daily News article about Boucher’s pain relieving vest saw him cite his wife, Lisa, as a reason for its success. Boucher’s son, Evan, played in the first professional Ultimate Frisbee Championship game for San Francisco in Philadelphia in February 2016.
4. Dr. Boucher Could Face a Year in Prison
The Bowling Green Daily News reports that Boucher was being held at Warren County Regional Jail in lieu of a $5,000 bond. He posted it some time over the weekend after the incident and was released. The report says that if convicted of the Class A misdemeanor, Boucher could face a year in prison. The Daily News report adds that Warren County Attorney Amy Milliken said Boucher could face extra charges, based on the injuries suffered by Paul.
5. Paul Has Recently Been Criticized After He Backed an Anti-Mitch McConnell Candidate in Arizona
Senator Paul has come in for criticism after he backed Arizona senatorial candidate Kelli Ward. Ward has openly said that Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell should step aside as the Senate Majority Leader. Ward said, “Leadership isn’t the most important part of this equation, it’s the policty that the people across the country want us to put in place. It’s the “America First” agenda.” While Paul said about Ward’s problems with McConnell, “I don’t think [Paul and Ward] have to agree on everything. I see a little different perspective coming from Kentucky and that being my fellow senator. But I do and have opposed leadership on a number of issues.”