A neighbor who tackled Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) “lost his temper” over yard debris on the property line between their homes, a court filing in the federal case says.
The neighbor, Dr. Rene Boucher, is asking a judge to grant probation in the case. Prosecutors are seeking a 21-month prison sentence.
A sentencing memorandum filed Friday by Boucher’s attorney said Paul repeatedly placed “unsightly” yard debris near the property line. On the day before the Nov. 3 attack, Boucher burned some debris left by Paul, according to the document obtained by the Daily News of Bowling Green. The next day, Paul placed more debris on the spot where the pile had been burned, it said.
Boucher, 60, has pleaded guilty to assaulting a member of Congress and is scheduled to be sentenced Friday.
Boucher’s attorney, Matt Baker, filed the 10-page document in U.S. District Court on Friday. A call to Baker’s office was not returned Monday. The filing argued that putting Boucher in prison would serve no useful purpose.
“Other than the isolated incident that is in issue, Dr. Boucher has been a pillar of his community, a solid citizen, a family man and a devout Christian,” Baker wrote in his memorandum.
It said the disagreement over yard debris dates back to September 2017, when Paul piled a 10-foot-wide (3-meter-wide) stack of limbs onto a spot near Boucher’s property. The pile sat until October, when Boucher picked it up and hauled it away in portable dumpsters.
“Even though this debris was not on Dr. Boucher’s property, he viewed it as unsightly — as it was placed directly in his line of sight from his patio and the back door of his house,” the court record said.
Two more piles of debris appeared in the same month, and Boucher burned the pile on Nov. 2. Boucher used gasoline and suffered second-degree burns that he needed treatment for, the memorandum said.
The next day, Paul used his lawnmower to blow leaves onto Boucher’s yard and then made another branch pile in the same spot, it said.
“As Dr. Boucher has stated throughout, he lost his temper and tackled Rand Paul as Paul was carrying branches from another location on his property and placing them on the property line,” the memorandum said.
Boucher also denied that the dispute was fueled by political differences with Paul, a Republican.
“Dr. Boucher has adamantly denied any such political motivations throughout, as even the suggestion of them is completely unfounded and simply not true,” the memorandum said.
Paul’s office contested the version of events from Baker, calling it “untrue” and alleging it “justifies” the violence carried out against the senator.
“Before Senator Paul was violently attacked from behind, he had no conversations or discussions with the attacker,” Sergio Gor, Paul’s Deputy Chief of Staff, wrote in a statement to Breitbart News. “There was no ‘longstanding dispute.’ This description is untrue.
“It is impossible to have a dispute when no words of disagreement were ever spoken –neither immediately nor at any other time before the attack occurred. In the decade prior to the attack, Senator Paul had no contact with the attacker.
“The attack was a pre-meditated assault that broke six of the Senator’s ribs and was complicated by fluid and blood around the lung and recurrent pneumonia,” Gor continued. “Any description of this attack that implies a ‘yard dispute’ justifies such violence and misses the point.”
Paul’s neighbors dismissed reports indicating the lawmaker’s character may have prompted the attack.
Rina Malmquist, the Rivergreen homeowners association president, told Breitbart News that the Paul family positively contributes to the community.
“I have been friends and neighbors with the Pauls since we moved to Bowling Green in 2001,” said Malmquist. “We have enjoyed being neighbors with the Pauls. Our children are great friends and we have made many happy memories with them.”
Lidija Loik, another neighbor of the Paul’s, lavished them with praise to Breitbart News.
“My family is relatively new to Bowling Green Kentucky, having moved from Canada three years ago. The Pauls have offered their kindness and friendship to us. Their support while we settle into a new life was and continues to be a blessing, Loik said.
“Both Rand and Kelley focus importance on community and friendship and their home is warm, loving and the door open to new friends and old. The Paul family should be highly regarded for the kindness they show and how they continue to embrace all those that cross their path.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.