The lawyer for Rene Boucher, the man charged with assaulting Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, claims his client’s violent outburst was due to something “trivial.” The New York Times is currently speculating the assault could have been spurred by differences in opinion on landscaping.
Boucher’s lawyer, Matt Baker, told WKU Public Radio the assault was due to something “most people would regard as trivial”:
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 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.
The New York Times’ analysis of the situation adds a peculiar paragraph pointing out that Paul allegedly did not care about the “neighborhood regulations” and that the issue at hand could have to do with growing pumpkins and not raking leaves:
Mr. Paul, 54, has long stood out in the well-to-do gated neighborhood south of Bowling Green, Ky., that he calls home. The senator grows pumpkins on his property, composts and has shown little interest for neighborhood regulations.
But the spectacle of the incident — one former doctor attacking another in broad daylight — was altogether different. Competing explanations of the origins of the drama cited stray yard clippings, newly planted saplings and unraked leaves.
A neighbor who did not witness the attack told CNN the pair had been "quibbling" over yard debris "for years." A New York Times reporter was also allegedly told there had been arguments over “some sort of planting or flora."
Other neighbors, however, have said the two have had heated discussions about politics in the past.
Boucher is currently being charged with a misdemeanor assault, but it could be increased to felony assault, as Paul suffered from five broken ribs.
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