Rand Paul wasn't allegedly attacked by his neighbor because of his libertarian policies or his party affiliation. But some tensions over gardening may have led to the reported assault that will put the Kentucky senator on the shelf.
The Bowling Green incident in Paul's yard apparently was over a longtime landscaping dispute, the New York Times reported Tuesday. Paul grew pumpkins in his yard and composted. But despite being environmentally friendly and Autumn chic, these habits may or may not have defied the affluent neighborhood's regulations, for which Paul "has shown little interest." The Times also gave us this amazing play-by-play on how the attack may have unfolded:
Mr. Paul had just stepped off a riding lawn mower on Friday when Rene Boucher, a retired anesthesiologist who lived next door, charged and tackled him. Because Mr. Paul was wearing sound-muting earmuffs, he did not realize Mr. Boucher was coming, according to one of the Kentucky Republicans and a friend familiar with the altercation.
The immediate motive for the attack, which left Paul sidelined with broken bones and bruised lungs, was not immediately known, the Times admitted.
Boucher's lawyer, Matthew Baker, insisted in a statement that the dispute was over a "trivial" matter.
"The unfortunate occurrence of Nov. 3 has absolutely nothing to do with either's politics or political agendas," Baker told the Bowling Green Daily News. "It was a very regrettable dispute between two neighbors over a matter that most people would regard as trivial. We sincerely hope that Sen. Paul is doing well and that these two gentlemen can get back to being neighbors as quickly as possible."
Boucher and Paul had been neighbors for 17 years before the incident.
Paul is known for his libertarian ideology and holds some pretty radical views on what one could do on their own lawns. In 2010, Paul famously said that he thought the Civil Rights Act of 1964 trampled on private property rights.
But maybe, the old axiom is true, and that all politics is local — and everything is political. Once again, from the Times:
“They just couldn’t get along. I think it had very little to do with Democrat or Republican politics,” said Jim Skaggs, who developed the gated community and who lives nearby. “I think it was a neighbor-to-neighbor thing. They just both had strong opinions, and a little different ones about what property rights mean.”
Boucher has been charged with misdemeanor fourth-degree assault with a minor injury, according to the Associated Press. He was released from jail on Saturday on a $7,500 bond.